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  4. Sikkim disaster: Death count rises to 18, ISRO's satellite images show Lhonak lake burst caused floods | PICS

Sikkim disaster: Death count rises to 18, ISRO's satellite images show Lhonak lake burst caused floods | PICS

Sikkim flash floods: The space agency said it will continue monitoring the lake further using satellite data. At least 18 people died while several went missing after a cloudburst over Lhonak Lake triggered a flash flood in the Teesta River basin.

Edited By: Hritika Mitra @MitraHritika New Delhi Updated on: October 05, 2023 23:32 IST
ISRO conducts satellite image-based studies of South Lhonak
Image Source : FILE ISRO conducts satellite image-based studies of South Lhonak lake

Sikkim flash floods: The death count in the flash flood in Sikkim increased to 18 today (October 5) as Army and NDRF teams worked their way through slushy earth and sheets of water in the Teesta River basin and downstream north Bengal for the second day in search of those who were swept away and are still missing, officials said.

Eighteen bodies have been found so far while 98 people, including 22 army personnel, remained missing after a cloudburst over Lhonak Lake in North Sikkim in the early hours of Wednesday triggered the flash flood, Chief Secretary V B Pathak said.

In a statement, the government of neighbouring West Bengal said four of the 18 bodies were identified as ‘jawans’. Twenty-six people have suffered injuries and were undergoing treatment at various hospitals across Sikkim.

So far, 2,011 people have been rescued, while the calamity has affected 22,034 people, the Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA) said in a bulletin.

One of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) centers, the National Remote Sensing Centre showed images of South Lhonak Lake in Sikkim changing its shape due to flash floods in the Himalayan state. A satellite-based study on the outburst of the South Lhonak lake in Sikkim by obtaining temporal satellite images (before & after) over the water body was observed.

"It is observed that Lake is Burst and about 105 hectares area has been drained out (28 September 2023 image versus 04 October 2023) which might have created a flash flood downstream," an ISRO statement said on Wednesday.

India Tv -  ISRO's satellite images show cloudburst

Image Source : ISRO ISRO's satellite images show cloudburst

The space agency said it will continue monitoring the lake further using satellite data. 

Indian Army issues helplines for families of missing

The Indian Army has started three helplines for families of missing people in Sikkim including its own soldiers. The numbers are given below: 

  • Army Helpline for North Sikkim - 8750887741 
  • Army Helpline for East Sikkim - 8756991895 
  • Army Helpline for missing soldiers - 7588302011

CM urges people to remain vigilant

Following the disaster, Chief Minister PS Tamang visited Singtam to assess the damage caused by the flash flood in the Teesta River basin. He also held a meeting with senior officials at the Singtam Nagar Panchayat office and asked them to keep vigil. "Emergency services have been mobilized to the affected areas, and I personally visited Singtam to assess the damages and engage with the local community," he wrote on 'X' (formerly known as Twitter).

Relief and rescue measures underway

The Chief Secretary of Sikkim joined the meeting through video conferencing and apprised the Committee about the latest situation in the state. He also briefed the committee about the efforts of the state government in carrying out relief and rescue measures. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla informed the Committee that the situation is being monitored 24x7 by the Central Government at the highest level. 

ALSO READ | Sikkim flash floods: 14 dead, over 100 missing as cloudburst-led disaster wreaks havoc in state

ALSO READ | Sikkim flash floods: One soldier rescued out of 23 missing army personnel, search operation underway

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