New Delhi, Oct 5 (EFE).- At least 11 people have died, and 120 are missing, including 20 soldiers, according to an official on Thursday, after heavy rainfall triggered flash floods in the Himalayan region of India, washing away villages and bridges and inundating military bases.
The flash floods alarmingly raised the water level of the Teesta River in the Lachen Valley of the northeastern state of Sikkim on Wednesday.
Head of regional disaster management, Prabhakar Rai, told EFE that 11 people had lost their lives, and 120 were missing as of Wednesday evening.
Among the missing are 22 soldiers who were trapped as the Teesta River swelled near the town of Singtam. On Wednesday, the Indian Army successfully rescued one of the missing soldiers who is currently in stable condition.
Despite challenging weather conditions and heavy rainfall, authorities are continuing their massive rescue efforts with the help of local resources and teams.
Rai said the rescue operation was currently limited to the local level because state-level rescuers have been unable to reach the affected areas.
“So we have used the local resources, local teams and the best at that particular place itself to carry out the rescue operation. In fact, they had already initiated the rescue operation,” he said.
One of the affected districts, Mangan, is completely cut off due to snapped communication links, making it impossible to obtain any reports from that particular part of the state.
According to an official statement, the central government has deployed three units of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to assist with the situation.
Earlier this week, the Himalayan state experienced heavy rainfall, which, combined with the overflow of a glacial lake, triggered flash floods that breached the Chungthang dam.
The Teesta River’s water level rose between four and six meters, resulting in the destruction of bridges and roads and damaging numerous homes.
This incident is a reminder of the vulnerability of the region to intense rains, with South Asian countries frequently experiencing significant human and material losses, especially during the monsoon period between May and September. EFE