Sikkim Landslides Update: 79 Of 1,200 Tourists Evacuated & Moved To Mangan Town; Were Stranded For Days After Torrential Rains

The rescue operation has to be carried out via road as the adverse weather conditions in Sikkim have made airlifting operations difficult for the authorities.

by Tashika Tyagi
Sikkim Landslides Update: 79 Of 1,200 Tourists Evacuated & Moved To Mangan Town; Were Stranded For Days After Torrential Rains

Over the last week, Sikkim has faced torrential rains that led to landslides and major road and highway disruption. This has caused more than 1,200 tourists to be stranded in North Sikkim, especially in Lachung and parts of Mangan. So far, about 79 tourists have been evacuated by the authorities via road. Since the weather is still unpredictable in the area, air rescue operations are being avoided for now. The tourists have been rescued and moved to Mangan town since many roads in the area are still blocked due to the flooding.

79 Of 1,200 Tourists Evacuated From Landslide-Hit Sikkim

Earlier this morning, 15 more tourists were rescued from Lachung and brought to the safer areas in Mangan town. This brings the count of rescued tourists up to 79 in the landslide-hit North Sikkim area. Over the weekend, it was reported that more than 1,200 tourists (foreigners included) have been stranded in Lachung and parts of Mangan after relentless rainfall caused landslides in the area.

These rescue operations are being run by District Magistrate Hem Kumar Chettri, the Forest Department, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and the local police and panchayats. For now, the rescue teams are carrying out these operations via road. As per a report in The Indian Express, air rescue operations in the area are not possible right now due to adverse weather conditions. The authorities have set up log bridges over the slides to facilitate movement by foot and by vehicles where roads were motorable, the report mentioned.

Furthermore, as per The Indian Express’ report, District Magistrate Hem Kumar Chettri said that they will carry out air rescue operations if weather conditions remain favourable on Tuesday. He further mentioned that six helicopters have been kept on standby at West Bengal’s Bagdogra near Siliguri. For now, they will be used to carry essential commodities for the residents of Chungthang and Lachung, if weather permits.

Also Read: 1200+ Tourists Still Stranded In North Sikkim Landslides, Rescue Operations Underway; IMD Issues Red Alert

Incessant Rains To Continue In The Area Over The Next Few Days

Heavy downpours began to wreak havoc in parts of Sikkim on June 12. This caused landslides and a flood-like situation in the Northern region of the state and also hampered road commutes in the area. Besides damaging properties, the incessant rain disrupted power, food supplies, and mobile networks in many regions.

As per IMD’s latest forecast, there is a likelihood of isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall over Sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh between June 18 and 22. This will further aggravate the situation in this area and can also hamper the rescue operations.

We hope the weather favours the authorities and they are able to carry out air rescue operations. This will not just quicken the rescue operations but also help them carry more tourists to safer areas.

Cover Image Courtesy: X/@firehorse249791 & Canva (representative image)

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