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Sikkim Rain, Landslides, claim 6 Lives, leave 1,500 Tourists Stranded

Massive landslides in northern Sikkim's Mangan district, triggered by heavy rainfall, have caused six deaths, left five missing, and stranded 1,500 tourists. Key bridges and highways are destroyed, isolating the region.

By Ground report
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Sikkim Rain, Landslides, claim 6 Lives, leave 1,500 Tourists Stranded

Landslide in Sikkim claims six lives and destroys houses Photo credit: Nitesh R Pradhan/X

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Massive landslides from heavy rainfall have caused devastation in northern Sikkim's Mangan district. The landslides have left at least six dead, five missing, and about 1,500 tourists stranded. The disaster has severely affected the region, known for its landscapes and tourist spots.

Incessant rains unleashed by nature caused landslides that blocked major roads and highways. National Highway 10, the lifeline of North Sikkim, connecting the region to Kalimpong in West Bengal, has been completely cut off, isolating the entire northern part of the state.

The newly constructed bailey bridge at Sangkalang collapsed, severing the link between Mangan and the towns of Dzongu and Chungthang. This bridge was built after last year's floods in the Teesta River. Its collapse worsened the crisis, leaving authorities searching for alternative routes.

Mangan District Magistrate Hem Kumar Chettri confirmed deaths in the villages of Pakshep and Ambhithang, with five people still missing. The state government is yet to determine the full extent of the damage and loss of life.

The disaster has left destruction in its wake. Houses were inundated or damaged, electricity poles swept away, and the Teesta River submerged the Melli Stadium in south Sikkim. The rising water levels have put Singtam town at risk, while in Namchi district, the Teesta has marooned the Melli stadium.

Towns like Dzongu, Chungthang, Lachen, and Lachung in Mangan district are isolated. They are known for Gurudongmar Lake and Yumthang Valley. Tourists are advised to remain there until road access is restored.

The district administration set up a relief camp at Pakshep for displaced residents. Challenges include disrupted mobile network services in North Sikkim, hindering communication and coordination. A request has been made to deploy an SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) team with rations to Mangan.

District Magistrate Chettri called an urgent meeting with department heads to assess and mitigate the situation. The immediate focus is on rescue and relief operations, with efforts to reach stranded people and provide essential supplies.

Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang has directed the North district administration, police, and other officials to ensure a rapid response to the situation despite being in Arunachal Pradesh. He emphasized the state government's commitment to supporting the victims, pledging assistance for recovery, temporary resettlement, and provision of basic necessities.

"The state government stands with the victims of this unfortunate incident," Tamang stated, assuring maximum support to bereaved families and those affected by the landslides.

In October last year, a glacial lake outburst flood in North Sikkim claimed over 100 lives. The water from the Teesta flooded the roads at Melli Bazar and flooded many vehicles at Teesta Bazar.

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