Kolkata: In a tragic incident, 23 Army soldiers have gone missing following a cloudburst in North Sikkim that triggered flash floods in the Teesta River.
According to the report, the Army’s Public Relations Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mahendra Rawat, based in Guwahati, confirmed the incident, shedding light on the ongoing efforts to locate the missing soldiers. Sikkim’s Chief Minister, Prem Singh Tamang, has also taken cognizance of the situation.
A massive search is on to locate 23 Army personnel, reported missing after the flash floods.
The Army released a statement detailing the events leading up to the flash floods. A sudden cloud burst occurred at Lahonak Lake in North Sikkim, causing a rapid surge of water in the Teesta River, near the picturesque Lachen Valley. Additionally, the release of water from the Chungthang Dam resulted in a sudden increase in water levels downstream, reaching heights of 15-20 feet.
According to ANI, A flood-like situation arose in Singtam after a cloud burst, rescue operation underway. BJP state president Dr Thapa says “Several properties have been damaged. I request all institutions to support Sikkim. I took stock of the situation in the morning and will do it again.”
#WATCH | Sikkim: A flood-like situation arose in Singtam after a cloud burst, rescue operation underway.— ANI (@ANI) October 4, 2023
BJP state president Dr Thapa says “Several properties have been damaged. I request all institutions to support Sikkim. I took stock of the situation in the morning and will… pic.twitter.com/LPmfqiwlMR
Earlier, a flash flood alert was issued in the north and east districts of Sikkim. Parts of Sikkim have witnessed heavy rain since last night. “Low lying areas such as Gazoldoba, Domohani, Mekhaliganj and Ghish may be affected. Please be alert,” it said.
The flash floods had a devastating impact on the area, affecting army vehicles parked at Bardang near Singtam. Following the deluge, 23 army personnel were reported missing in Bardang, and several vehicles were reportedly submerged in mud. Search and rescue operations are currently underway in the affected regions.
Lieutenant Colonel Mahendra Rawat, recounting the harrowing event, said, “The flood occurred late in the night, around 1:30 am when most were asleep, catching us completely off guard.”
The Central Water Commission (CWC) provided insights into the escalating water levels at Lahonak Lake in North Sikkim. On Tuesday midnight, the lake’s water level surpassed the CWC Melee FF site and reached 227 meters by 6 am, exceeding the danger level by approximately 3 meters.
The CWC also issued forecasts of simultaneous floods for both India and Bangladesh from 6 am to 2 am. Meanwhile, at the Domohani FF station, the Teesta River was flowing below the warning level, with a water level of 84.83 meters at 6 am. However, it is anticipated to cross the warning level within the next 6 hours, necessitating vigilance in downstream areas.
Sikkim BJP state president, DR Thapa, expressed his concern over the situation, stating, “Properties have been damaged. I appeal to all organizations to extend their support to Sikkim. I assessed the situation in the morning and will continue to do so, coordinating efforts to aid those affected by this tragedy.”