Flash Floods Triggered by Cloudburst in Sikkim Leave 43, Including 20 Soldiers, Missing

Cloudburst Triggers Flash Floods in Sikkim, Leaving 43, Including 23 Soldiers, Missing

A cloudburst in Sikkim has led to flash floods in the Teesta River, resulting in the disappearance of at least 23 Army personnel and 20 civilians. The local administration and the Army have initiated extensive search and rescue efforts to locate the missing individuals.

According to a statement from the Army’s Eastern Command, the cloudburst has affected some establishments along the Lachen valley. The release of water from the Chungthang dam caused a sudden surge in water levels downstream, reaching up to 15-20 feet high. This surge has impacted Army vehicles parked near Bardang in the vicinity of Singtam, with 23 personnel reported missing and some vehicles submerged in the slush. Search operations are currently underway.

Sikkim has experienced heavy rainfall throughout the night. The overflow of Lhonak Lake in north Sikkim due to the cloudburst has contributed to the rising water levels in the Teesta River, which flows through Sikkim, West Bengal, and eventually into Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured support to the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Prem Singh Tamang Golay, stating that he has spoken with him to assess the situation and pledging assistance to address the challenges arising from this unfortunate natural calamity.

In response to the situation, the Sikkim administration has issued a high alert for residents. Videos shared by local residents depict washed-out roads and the river overflowing.

Although there have been no reported injuries, significant damage to public property has occurred, and some individuals have been reported missing in Singtam, as confirmed by Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang Golay during a visit to the affected area.

The India Meteorological Department has stated that the Teesta River has swelled due to the overflow of the lake in Chungthang, Sikkim. Low-lying areas such as Gazoldoba, Domohani, Mekhaliganj, and Ghish may be affected, and residents have been advised to remain vigilant.

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