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Sikkim, a picturesque state in the Himalayas, is grappling with a catastrophic flash flood that has left 23 army personnel missing and claimed the lives of three individuals. This calamity, commonly known as the ‘flash floods in Sikkim,’ was triggered by a sudden cloud burst over Lhonak Lake in North Sikkim, resulting in devastating consequences for the region.
The flash flood incident unfolded in the Lachen Valley of North Sikkim around 1:30 a.m., catching residents and authorities off-guard. The Defense Public Relations Officer (PRO) in Guwahati confirmed the occurrence of the flood, attributing it to the abrupt cloud burst over Lhonak Lake. This natural disaster has had severe repercussions, with the loss of lives and widespread damage to infrastructure.
In the wake of the devastating flash floods in Sikkim, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) swiftly initiated rescue operations. Seven Singtam individuals were rescued by NDRF teams, providing a glimmer of hope amid the tragedy. Presently, one NDRF team is stationed in Gangtok. In contrast, two others are positioned in adjoining areas of Sikkim in West Bengal, intensifying efforts to locate and rescue the missing army personnel.
A Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA) official reported the recovery of three bodies from Singtam during rescue and relief operations. The SSDMA, in an official press release, attributed the flash flood to a cloudburst in parts of Lhonak Lake, leading to a rapid rise in water levels with extraordinarily high velocities downstream along the Teesta River basin. The resulting havoc wreaked on establishments in various districts, including Mangan, Gangtok, Pakyong, and Namchi.
The impact of the flash floods in Sikkim has also extended to the educational sector, as all schools in the four affected districts of Sikkim will remain closed until October 8, as per the directive from the education department. This decision is a precautionary measure taken to ensure the safety of students and staff members, given the uncertain and potentially hazardous conditions in the aftermath of the flash flood.
Defense officials have reported significant damage to establishments along the Lachen valley, though the full extent of the devastation is yet to be ascertained. Ongoing efforts are focused on gathering accurate information and assessing the overall impact on the affected regions. This will be crucial for planning and executing recovery and rebuilding efforts in the coming days.
The flash floods in Sikkim have inflicted a devastating blow on the region, claiming lives, displacing people, and causing widespread destruction. The heroic efforts of the NDRF and other rescue teams are commendable as they work tirelessly to locate the missing army personnel and provide relief to the affected communities. As the situation unfolds, the local and national authorities must collaborate efficiently to mitigate the aftermath of this natural disaster and facilitate the recovery process. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Sikkim as they face this challenging and trying time.