Sikkim Cloudburst Triggers Devastating Flood: 23 Soldiers Missing, Army Camp Damaged, Teesta River Surge

Twenty-three soldiers are currently unaccounted for in the state of Sikkim following a cloudburst that precipitated flash floods in the Teesta river earlier today. As per information provided by the Defense Public Relations Officer (PRO), the flash floods in the Teesta river within the Lachen valley resulted from a cloudburst occurring over Lonak lake during the early hours of the morning.

The area in proximity to the river housed army camps, which have unfortunately been completely swept away by the force of the floodwaters. The Defense Public Relations Officer (PRO) in Guwahati has confirmed that the rapid surge in water levels necessitated the release of water from the Chungthang Dam. Consequently, the water level rose dramatically, reaching heights of 15 to 20 feet in low-lying regions along the Teesta river. This sudden rise in water levels resulted in the submergence of army vehicles that were stationed at Bardang near Singhtham.

Some bridges and roads over the river were also damaged

In accordance with the Army’s report, the water level of the Teesta river experienced an abrupt and substantial rise of 15 to 20 feet following the cloudburst. Consequently, the adjoining areas along the riverbanks were inundated with floodwaters. This inundation extended to numerous residential houses, with river water breaching their premises. In response to this perilous situation, residents were compelled to evacuate their homes in search of safer and higher ground.

Rescue efforts remain ongoing as the Defense Public Relations Officer (PRO) in Guwahati has confirmed the initiation of a rescue operation to locate the missing army personnel following the unfortunate incident. Simultaneously, the local administration has also embarked on its independent rescue operations. As of the latest update, there is no available information regarding any loss of life resulting from the incident.

Surrounding areas adjacent to the river are also inundated.

Sikkim has experienced a series of natural disasters in the recent past, with another cloud burst occurring on June 16th. In the region of Pakyong, the situation took a dire turn as houses were inundated by floodwaters resulting from a combination of landslides and the subsequent cloudburst. Regrettably, this unfortunate event has affected a significant number of residents in the affected areas, further highlighting the vulnerability of the region to such calamities.

The water level of Teesta river is above the danger mark.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a substantial rainfall alert for the eastern and northeastern states of India on October 4th and 5th. This advisory encompasses several states, namely Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, and Tripura. The alert is in response to the anticipated heavy rainfall in these regions, emphasizing the importance of preparedness and vigilance in the face of potentially severe weather conditions.

A crane parked on the road was also completely submerged due to sudden rise in river water

Throughout this year, several major cloudburst events have occurred in different regions of India, causing significant impacts and sometimes leading to tragic consequences. Here is an overview of four notable cloudburst incidents:

  1. August 24: Mandi, Himachal Pradesh

A cloudburst struck Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, leading to the entrapment of 51 individuals. Fortunately, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) successfully rescued all those affected. In the neighboring Baddi district, a bridge was damaged when the Balad River overflowed due to heavy rains. Tragically, in Pandoh, one person lost their life as a school building was washed away in a drain, causing debris to crush them.

  1. August 9: Paonta Sahib, Himachal Pradesh

A cloudburst occurred in Paonta Sahib, Sirmaur district, Himachal Pradesh, resulting in the collapse of a house due to flash floods in Sirmauri Tal village. This event impacted a family of five, including two children, and sadly, two individuals lost their lives, with their bodies later recovered.

  1. July 22: Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Heavy rainfall triggered a cloudburst in Shimla, causing flooding that washed away numerous vehicles and inflicted damage to many homes. Fortunately, there were no reported casualties. However, the Chamba-Pathankot National Highway was temporarily closed due to rain-induced landslides.

  1. July 25: Rampur, Himachal Pradesh

A cloudburst in Rampur, Shimla district, resulted in extensive destruction. Six houses, including a primary school and a youth club in Kandar village of Sartara panchayat, collapsed due to the cloudburst. Additionally, numerous domesticated cattle were swept away in the ensuing flood, and several houses were inundated. The event also caused damage to half a dozen vehicles.

Houses built around the river were also submerged. No casualties or property figures have been released.

In the month of July, the nation mourned the loss of three Indian Navy officers and two army soldiers in two separate incidents, underscoring the dangers posed by natural disasters:

  1. July 20: Kullu, Himachal Pradesh

On July 20, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, witnessed cloudbursts at multiple locations, resulting in devastating floods. Tragically, many individuals were swept away by the raging floodwaters. Among the victims were three Indian Navy officers who were visiting Manali at the time. Their lives were tragically lost in the calamity, highlighting the indiscriminate nature of such natural disasters.

  1. July 9: Poonch District, Jammu and Kashmir

On July 9, two army personnel found themselves stranded in floodwaters in Poonch district, Jammu and Kashmir. Despite rescue efforts, both soldiers tragically lost their lives in the flood. Their bodies were later recovered, marking a somber event that underscores the risks that military personnel face in their service to the nation, even during natural disasters.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.