Those living on the banks of the Teesta river have also been advised to evacuate
Connectivity to Sikkim, including capital Gangtok, has been affected on Wednesday after an overflowing Teesta river washed away parts of NH-10 that connects the state to the rest of the country. The river water rose to an alarming level after a cloudburst triggered a flash flood in the northeastern state.
The cloudburst occurred over Lhonak Lake in North Sikkim leading to the flooding of the river which flows through Sikkim and West Bengal.
A massive search is on to locate 23 Army personnel, reported missing after the flash floods.
Videos recorded by locals showed a large section of a road washed away by the raging river waters. As per the Central Water Commission, Teesta was flowing below warning level at 6am on Wednesday and expected to cross its warning level within six hours.
"The flash flood made its way through River Teesta sweeping Indreni Bridge in Singtam town, some 30 kilometres from Gangtok. A connecting bridge of the Balutar hamlet was also swept away around 4 am,” the Gangtok District Administration told news agency ANI. Many homes near the river basin in Singtam have been evacuated to temporary relief camps in the town.
Residents from the Chungthang town, some 90 kilometres north of Gangtok, near the Teesta Dam have also been rescued. As per the defence ministry, two bridges were also damaged in Dikchu and Toong towns connecting Singtam to Chungthang in North Sikkim. The Border Road Organisation (BRO) is rescuing locals in the areas.
Earlier, a flash flood alert was issued in the north and east districts of Sikkim. Parts of Sikkim have witnessed heavy rain since last night. "Low lying areas such as Gazoldoba, Domohani, Mekhaliganj and Ghish may be affected. Please be alert," it said.
"Nobody has been injured but there has been significant damage to public property. Some people have also been reported missing. Relief operations are going on," said Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang said while on a visit to Singtam.
Those living on the banks of the Teesta river have also been advised to evacuate their homes to ensure their safety. All are advised to stay alert and avoid travel along the Teesta river basin, an alert message by Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority read.
"Light to moderate rainfall is expected during the next 3-4 days over Sikkim," the weather office said in a tweet.