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Chungthang Residents Stranded for 4 Days, Question Rescue Operations

Chungthang Residents Stranded for 4 Days, Question Rescue Operations
Residents of Chungthang awaiting rescue and relief efforts

Sikkim Flood Relief: Residents Await Assistance

Gangtok: Residents of Chungthang in Sikkim are growing increasingly frustrated as they remain stranded in the aftermath of the devastating floods that struck the region. Even after four days, the town is yet to see the arrival of disaster relief forces, prompting residents to question the efficacy of search and rescue operations.

The Cry for Help

Local residents, expressing their distress, have raised concerns about the absence of rescue efforts and the lack of airlift operations to evacuate them from the affected area. They describe a dire situation where the Glacial Lake Outburst Flood, triggered by the Teesta Stage 3 Dam in Chungthang operated by Teesta Urja Limited, engulfed the town, causing extensive destruction.

Beyond Chungthang, the prominent villages of Lachen and Lachung also remain completely cut off, compounding the crisis for the residents. Efforts are currently underway to construct a log bridge that will provide a lifeline to the other side, where a substantial number of residents, army personnel, and tourists find themselves stranded.

Ongoing efforts to construct a log bridge for connectivity

Officials Take Action

In a bid to assess the gravity of the situation, Lachen Mangan MLA Samdup Lepcha, along with DIG Range Tashi Wangyal of Sikkim Police, took a daring zipline journey to reach the damaged side of Chungthang. This hands-on approach by officials reflects the urgency of the situation and their commitment to addressing the needs of the affected population.

Collaborative Relief Efforts

Rescue and relief efforts are a collective endeavor involving multiple agencies. The State Disaster Relief Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Indian Reserve Battalion, and civilians are all working tirelessly to mitigate the crisis and provide assistance to those in need.

Ongoing Grim Situation

The situation in Sikkim remains grim, with thousands of tourists still stranded in the region. The death toll has tragically surpassed 40 at the time of this report, underscoring the urgent need for swift and effective response efforts to address the scale of the disaster.

As residents endure the harrowing aftermath of the floods, the focus remains on coordinated rescue operations, providing aid to those affected, and reestablishing communication links to ensure the safety and well-being of all residents and visitors in the region.

It is disheartening to note that the nation's most trusted and efficient disaster response force, the NDRF, has not yet reached Chungthang. We hope that the relevant union ministries are fully aware of this dire situation and will swiftly extend the necessary support.

Also Read: Rescuers Battle Adverse Weather to Locate Missing Flood Victims in Sikkim

Gangtokian Web Team, 07/10/23

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