23 Soldiers Missing In Sikkim After Cloudburst Triggers Flash Flood

New Delhi: At least 23 Army officers have been reported missing after a flash flood in North Sikkim that was triggered by a cloud burst. NDRF has been deployed for search and rescue operation. A sudden cloudburst over Lhonak Lake in North Sikkim led to the flash flood in Teesta River in Lachen Valley. Some Army establishments along the valley have been affected and efforts are on to confirm details. Sikkim CM Prem Singh Tamang also took stock of the situation after the flash flood hit Singtam. The sudden release of water from the Chungthang Dam led to an increase in water level up to 15-20 feet high downstream, News 18 reported.

A statement by the Army’s Eastern Command said some establishments along Lachen Valley have been affected. “Release of water from the Chungthang dam led to a sudden increase in water level upto 15-20 feet high downstream. This has led to Army vehicles parked at Bardang near Singtam getting affected. 23 personnel have been reported missing and some vehicles are reported submerged under the slush. Search operations are underway,” the statement said.

The Sikkim administration has issued a high alert to residents. Videos recorded and shared by local residents show roads washed away and the river in spate. “Nobody has been injured but there has been significant damage to public property. Some people have also been reported missing in Singtam. Relief operations are on,” said Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang said during a visit to an affected area.

The India Meteorological Department has said Teesta is swollen after the lake in Sikkim’s Chungthang overflowed. “Low lying areas such as Gazoldoba, Domohani, Mekhaliganj and Ghish may be affected. Please be alert,” the weather office said.

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