Toll up, rescue on war-footing

Toll up, rescue on war-footing

Sundays disaster has claimed 71 lives so far; team of doctors rushed to Sikkim

Toll up, rescue on war-footing

A monk sits near his house damaged in Sunday’s earthquake, in Gangtok, Sikkim. PTI

According to Union Home Ministry, there are 35 deaths  in Sikkim (excluding 2 from the Army), 75 people reported to have injured while six persons are reported to have still trapped. A total of seven deaths were reported from West Bengal and two from Bihar. Latest report also indicates one junior engineer of Border Road Organisation died on way to the landslide area.

Union Home Secretary R K Singh said a team of doctors has been rushed to Sikkim and food airdropped in Siliguri and Purnia. A total 5,500 Army men and of 712 personnel of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) are already engaged in rescue and relief operation in Sikkim.

The ITBP said it has rescued about 400 people from the affected areas in North Sikkim. Besides 26 tourists, including many foreigners, were also taken to safe places and the road connectivity in the worst-hit Pegong area is likely to be restored soon.

Defence Ministry said over 5,000 troops and nine helicopters have been dispatched by the Army to carry out rescue and relief operations in quake-hit Sikkim.

“Around 5,000 troops in 105 columns and four ALH Dhruv and five Cheetah helicopters have been deployed in the relief operations by the Army in the state,” officials said here.
The government of Sikkim has announced ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh per deceased, Rs 50,000 for major injuries and Rs 30,000 for minor injuries.

A medical team, comprising  20 doctors left for Sikkim from Delhi and reached Bagdogra at 4:30 am on Monday, but was stuck at Bagdogra due to landslide causing road blockage at  various places on the highway.

According to Defence Ministry, armed forces have mobilised rescue and relief operation on a war footing.

Two MI-17 helicopters of the IAF carried relief material and the National Disaster Relief Force have been sent to Lachen and Mangan, the interior regions of North Sikkim.  Over 5,000 Army personnel, including ten columns of Army engineers, were pressed into service. Troops stationed in the area have provided shelter to over 1,500 people, including 1,000 civilians at Gangtok and 200 civilians at Darjeeling.

According to information reaching the Home Ministry, arrangements for airdropping of food packets are being done from Siliguri.  The  West Bengal government has been directed to provide help to the Sikkim government.

As for telecommunication network, out of the 489 mobile towers, 216 are non-functional. Land line connections and microwave links are working. Power situation has improved as all the major power generating stations with a total capacity of 845 MW have been made operational.

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