GANGTOK: Relief operations by the Indian Air Force continued unabated in Sikkim, which is still counting the spoils from a devastating flash flood, officials said. According to officials, the IAF has been undertaking relief operations using its Cheetah, Chinook, Mi-17 1V, and Mi-17 V5 helicopters, complementing the ongoing efforts of the Sikkim government to bring a measure of relief to people affected by the calamity and meet their requirements on priority.
Till now, the IAF has flown 262 sorties, resulting in the safe transportation of 2,002 civilians from the flood-ravaged areas to safer locations and the shifting of over 1,32,805 kg of relief material to the affected areas, according to an official release.
The IAF said it has also ferried 259 relief workers and 179 personnel of the Indian Army to the affected areas to extend a helping hand in the ongoing relief work. Meanwhile, the death toll from the Sikkim flash flood rose to 40, with 76 more still missing in the disaster-hit state, an official statement said. Further, according to the Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority, 4,418 people have been evacuated from all four affected districts to date.
"A total number of people were evacuated in Mangan (2705) Gangtok (1025), Pakyong (58), and Namchi (630); however, there are 40 casualties, with Pakyong facing the most deaths (15)," the official statement read. SSDMA said that currently, 1,852 people are being sheltered in 19 relief camps across four districts of the state.
Earlier, the Sikkim government declared Rs 10,000 each for labourers registered under the building and other construction workers (BOCW) welfare board on Sunday as relief after the flash flood across the Teesta River Basin in Gangtok, which was triggered by a glacial lake outburst. Over 8,733 labourers affected by South Lhonak Lake were handed cheques by Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay at the awareness and distribution of distress relief assistance event in Chintan Bhawan in Gangtok. Meanwhile, the Indian Army's Trishakti Corps is continuing its relief operations in the area. According to the Trishakti Corps, the Sappers continue to rebuild and reconnect areas cut off during the Glacial Lake Outburst Flood, the official release stated, adding that working under adverse weather conditions, the Sappers constructed a foot suspension bridge over the Mighty Teesta River in the north. (ANI)