Sikkim quake toll reaches 78

Sikkim quake toll reaches 78

The toll may further increase as rescue workers were unable to reach some interior north Sikkim areas because of landslides, a government official said. "The death toll has gone up to 78 with few bodies recovered from rubbles in north Sikkim, while few succumbed to injuries in hospitals," he said.

The overnight toll was put at 68. Heavy rains triggered fresh landslides in several places blocking the main lifeline National Highway 31 A. Road workers were trying to clear the highway for traffic to resume.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram will arrive here later in the day to assess and review the damage caused by Sunday's 6.8-magnitude tremor. The home minister is scheduled to meet the injured at a hospital here and later make an aerial survey of the worst-hit north Sikkim areas and also hold a meeting with Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling.

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