Gangtok: Over 150 houses have been damaged in the Industrial Belt (IBM) at Rangpo, on the banks of river Teesta with over 20 civilians reportedly missing. One body was discovered in the afternoon from the IBM area. The incident occurred following the bursting of South Lhonak Lake on Wednesday night.
In most of the houses affected by the calamity, the lower two floors have been submerged. Makeshift houses of labourers in the area were swept away and several vehicles were damaged. Collectively 3,000-4,000 people were evacuated from Rangpo last night before 2 am.
Pakyong District Magistrate Tashi Chopel speaking to the media informed, “There have been some loss of lives while over 150 houses have been damaged in the IBM area in Rangpo. If we take the stretch between Singtam and Rangpo along NH 10 which falls under Pakyong district, around 150-200 houses could have been damaged by the flash flood. We are not certain about the casualties, but 20 people are missing.”
The District Magistrate further informed that there is a separate report of around 23 army personnel having gone missing from Bardang area between Singtam and Rangpo. While industries ranging from pharmaceutical to manufacturing units along the banks of River Teesta, the DM Pakyong informed no reports of damages have been received by the Pakyong district Magistrate.
Educational institutions Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology (SMIT) in Majhitar and Advanced Technical Training Centre (ATTC) in Bardang between Singtam and Rangpo also reported a flash flood entering the premises, with the first floors being inundated, informed Pakyong District Authorities.
The students at SMIT were reported to be safe, while students from ATTC have been given permission to go to their homes. There are still some people stuck in the houses in IBM who are now being evacuated by fire services and NDRF.
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Rangpo has five relief camps which include Chanatar government school, the hall of Sikkim distilleries, Tourism Information Centre hall, the housing complex at Majhigaon, and Mining Government school hall. Councillors from Rangpo Nagar Panchayat along with civil defense have been overseeing the relief camps. Around 300-400 people have reached relief camps so far; by evening, all the people from damaged houses will be taken to relief camps, informed Pakyong District Authorities.
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