Thursday, November 30, 2023

Toll rises to 40 in Sikkim flash flood, 76 people still missing

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The toll in the flash flood in Sikkim rose to 40 on Tuesday with two more bodies being found in the state, while 76 people are still missing about two weeks after the disaster, officials said.

The flash flood in the Teesta river, triggered by a cloudburst in the early hours of October 4, devastated the state, affecting about 88,000 people.Sikkim has a population of about 6.10 lakh people, the lowest for any state in India, according to the 2011 census.

Most of the bodies were found in Pakyong. Among the 26 bodies found in the district, 15 were of civilians while 11 were of Armymen, according to the Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA).Four bodies were found in Mangan, eight bodies in Gangtok and two in Namchi, it said in a bulletin.

Several bodies have been found in neighbouring West Bengal as well, carried by the Teesta to the downstream areas, officials said.

Of the 76 people missing, 28 were from Pakyong, 23 from Gangtok, 20 from Mangan and five from Namchi.At present, 20 relief camps are operational in the state and 2,080 people are taking shelter in them, the SSDMA said.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), a combination of excess rainfall and a Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) event at South Lhonak Lake in North Sikkim could have triggered the flash floods.

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