Gangtok, September 16: The Indian Army and the Indian Air Force, in coordination with civil administration, have airlifted tourists stranded in rain-hit areas in North Sikkim. Helicopters have made several sorties from Gangtok and Sevoke and evacuated around 100 people, including a pregnant woman. Evacuation operation still underway.
Heavy, incessant rains lashed Sikkim’s North district which triggered landslides in the region destroying bridges in the region. Many people were also rendered homeless. Communication links with rest of the country have also been disrupted as landslides blocked the National Highway 10. The highway was partially opened for vehicular movement through a one-way arrangement from Saturday evening after the PWD workers repaired the damaged stretches.
Rescue operations carried out by the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force in Sikkim:
Sikkim: Army&Air Force, in coordination with civil administration, airlifts tourists stranded in rain-hit areas in North Sikkim. Helicopters have made several sorties from Gangtok&Sevoke & evacuated around 100 people, including a pregnant woman.Evacuation operation still underway pic.twitter.com/Jj1CDWI6cy
— ANI (@ANI) September 16, 2018
As per reports, landslides at three places at Mongpong near Sevoke wreaked havoc as a 50-metre stretch caved in on NH-31C, and several trees fell on the road. The National Highway 10 connects Darjeeling district's headquarters Siliguri and northern West Bengal's Kalimpong with Sikkim, and National Highway 31C links Siliguri with Bengal's Dooars and also Assam.
The most affected stretch was earlier repaired after Thursday's landslide, but it got damaged again, according to officials from the West Bengal Public Works (PWD) department. The West Bengal government arranged special buses to rescue stranded tourists.