Massive Cloudburst Triggers Flash Flood In North Sikkim

The Teesta River is currently flowing at the "danger level" mark of 298.4 metres as per the Central Water Commission
The Teesta River in Sikkim
The Teesta River in SikkimShutterstock

A massive glacial cloudburst has wreaked havoc, leading to a torrential flash flood in north Sikkim. As a result, the Teesta River has been flowing at a danger mark of 298.4 metres. Rescue operations have been ongoing for people residing in the low-lying areas. According to the Central Water Commission, the cloudburst took place at Lhonak Lake in north Sikkim, affecting Gangtok and Pakyong (east Sikkim), and Mangan (north Sikkim), with the latter being the worst hit.

According to officials, the Teesta River will soon cross the danger mark. Keeping with this, a flood alert has been issued for some districts in north Bengal and Bangladesh.

Besides the missing persons reported, the flash flood has also uprooted at least six bridges between Chungthang and Rangpo and washed away parts of the Teesta Dam at Chungthang, which is the biggest hydropower project in Sikkim. The National Highway 10, which runs parallel to the river, has also been badly hit, disrupting connectivity to Sikkim, including the capital Gangtok. Besides this, roads in Mangan, Namchi, Pakyong, Gyalshing and Soreng districts have been blocked along with parts of NH-10 near Siliguri.

The exact number of people missing has not been confirmed yet. However, a statement issued by the army stated that at least twenty-three army personnel were missing.

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