Gangtok: Four days after a devastating earthquake measuring a forceful 6.8 on
the Richter scale struck large parts of north east India, rescue and
relief teams are still trying to reach thousands of people trapped in
Many villages in quake-hit Sikkim are still out of
reach and thousands are said to be waiting for help. Rescue operations
remain the biggest challenge as rain and landslides are severely
hampering the efforts and bad weather is not allowing helicopters to
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling on Wednesday visited
the quake-affected areas including Nanduk - one of the worst-hit
villages - which is an hour's drive from the capital Gangtok. There were
about 25 houses in this village but the powerful quake razed the entire
village to the ground. Fortunately, no casualties were reported.
"I think loss and damage will be not less than Rs one lakh crore. We will assess thoroughly the loss of properties," Mr Chamling said, adding, "We are trying to assess the (exact) loss. We will do it in about 10 days and will submit a report and ask for a special package from the Centre."
The Chief Minister also said that it would take at least a month to build damaged roads
again. "Many roads have been affected, and thousands of houses have been
destroyed. In north Sikkim, contact has been broken with nine villages.
Roads are completely closed," he said.
Mr Chamling announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of each of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the seriously injured.
A total of 700 houses have reportedly collapsed across the state with 500 of them having suffered substantial damage.
Authorities have opened at least 100 relief camps to provide food and
medicines to those whose homes have been damaged in the quake. Around
3,200 people have taken shelter at camps set up by the Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi visited Gangtok on Wednesday and made an aerial survey of quake-hit North Sikkim. He also visited a hospital in Gangtok. (Read)
At least 114 people have died in the the devastating earthquake. Over 57 people have died in Sikkim alone. Casualties
have also been reported from neighbouring Bihar and West Bengal. The
quake that hit at around 6 pm on Sunday was centred on the Sikkim-Nepal
border, 64 kilometre north-west of Gangtok. It also It also shook Nepal
Road links between Sikkim and the rest of the
country, snapped since Sunday due to landslides, have been restored. But
there are still stretches where mudslides have affected connectivity.
to the home ministry, road connectivity to one of the worst-affected
areas of Mangan in Sikkim has been restored while roads to some other
badly-hit areas remain shut. Mangan is close to the quake epicentre
located on the Indo-Nepal border.
Around 22 bodies were found
under the rubble at the Teesta hydel project here today, as rescuers
scouted through devastated areas where "heavy casualties" were feared. (Read)
than 6,000 Army personnel, paramilitary troopers and police personnel
are engaged in massive rescue and relief operations. Half of them have
been deployed in the worst-hit north Sikkim areas.
have been done by helicopters provided by the Ministry of Defence for
airdropping and reconnaissance. Food packets have been airdropped in the
northern part of the North district at a place called Myang.
Centre has constituted an inter-ministerial team to visit the affected
areas in the state and submit its recommendations for assistance from
the National Disaster Response Fund.
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Story First Published:September 22, 2011 00:39 IST