This Article is From Oct 06, 2023

At Least 40 Killed In Sikkim Flash Floods, 22 Bodies Found In Teesta River

Flash floods on the night of October 3-4 submerged or washed away all bridges downstream of the Teesta-V hydropower station, up to Tarkhola and Pamphok.

New Delhi: At least 40 people, including seven Armymen, have died in the Sikkim flash floods and the Army is carrying out extensive rescue operations for thousands stranded in the deluge.

Here are the top 10 updates on this big story

  1. On day three after a cloudburst in Sikkim caused flash floods, the death count has gone up to 40, officials said. Downstream search-and-rescue teams recovered more bodies overnight as the waters cut a swathe through the countryside towards the Bay of Bengal.

  2. "Around 3,000 people are stranded in Lachen and Lachung. 3,150 people who have gone there on motorcycles are also stuck due to the floods. We will evacuate all with helicopters of Army and Air Force," said Sikkim Chief Secretary Vijay Bhushan Pathak.

  3. Authorities have urged tourists to delay their travel with the possibility of another glacial lake burst,

  4. Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang said the destruction of the Chungthang Dam on Wednesday was due to the "inferior construction" by previous state governments.

  5. "Dam is fully damaged... washed out. Disaster in the lower belt is because of this. Yes... there was a cloudburst and the Lhonak Lake burst... but, because of inferior and sub-standard construction by previous government, the dam broke and even more floods hit Lower Sikkim with violence," Mr Tamang told NDTV.

  6. A glacial lake burst in the upper reaches of Sikkim triggered flash floods and a glacial lake outburst, releasing water from Chungthang Dam and drastically increasing the water level of the Teesta River Wednesday morning, causing widespread devastation in the Himalayan state.

  7. The government-owned hydropower company NHPC is doing everything it can to quickly reopen its hydropower plants, as the ministry watches closely what is happening in the Teesta basin after the flash floods. The Power Ministry said it will conduct a thorough assessment of the damage to hydropower projects in Sikkim once the floodwaters recede.

  8. Flash floods on the night of October 3-4 submerged or washed away all bridges downstream of the Teesta-V hydropower station, up to Tarkhola and Pamphok.

  9. Flash floods destroyed 11 bridges in Sikkim, including eight in Mangan district, two in Namchi, and one in Gangtok. The floods also damaged water pipelines, sewage lines, and 277 houses in four districts. NDRF platoons in North Sikkim are on standby to evacuate local residents.

  10. Climate scientists warn that similar disasters will become an increasing danger across the Himalayas amid rise in global temperatures. "None of the scenarios are good," he added. "Even the most modest scenario tells us that... similar glacial lake outbursts flood events are very likely," says climate change specialist Arun Bhakta Shrestha.

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