The State government of Sikkim, through SSDMA, declares the Lhonak Lake flash flood a ‘catastrophic’ disaster.
A cloud burst-induced water surge around the Lhonak area led to flash floods in low-lying areas of the Teesta basin, causing a rise in water levels with very high velocities downstream within the states of Sikkim and West Bengal in the early hours of October 4th, 2023.
Furthermore, the natural disaster has caused extensive damage to life and property, including the breakdown of road networks and communications. Several important bridges connecting the forward border areas within Sikkim are washed away due to the flash floods in Mangan, Gangtok, Pakyong, and Namchi Districts of Sikkim.
In Mangan District, the Chungthang dam and the bridge were washed away. Two bridges at Minshithang, one bridge at Zema, and Ritchu Bridge, including Sangkhalang Bridge, were washed away. The drinking water supply lines are reported to be totally damaged.
Likewise, in Gangtok District, three dead bodies were recovered at Golitar by the NDRF / SDRF. Four relief camps have been set up at Singtam Senior Secondary School, Bihari Bhawan, Nepali Bhawan, and Sikkim Supreme. The SDRF has rescued around 25 people from flood-prone areas. It is reported that the control room of the NHPC dam has also been damaged. Furthermore, it is informed that one person is missing from the NHPC Teesta site area, and one person has been admitted to STNM/Gangtok with severe injuries. The drinking water supply lines and Sewerage Treatment Plant at Singtam have been totally damaged.
In Pakyong District, four deaths were reported at Golitar, Singtam, and seven people were reported missing at Baghey Khola. Three people are missing at Majitar. 17 people have sustained minor injuries and are undergoing treatment at Singtam district hospital. The drinking water supply lines and Sewerage Treatment Plant at Rangpo have been totally damaged.
Similarly, two laborers are reported to have been swept away from Mamring. The Sewerage Treatment Plant at Melli has been severely damaged.
The rescue and search operations are underway at various places around the four districts by Sikkim Police, NDRF, SDRF, Army, and locals.
Furthermore, the IMD has also issued a red alert for Sikkim for the next 48 hours.