EM Impact: NGT issues notice to Sikkim authorities for dam breach
Floods caused by the Lhonak glacial lake outburst and consequent Chungthang dam breach in Sikkim

Gangtok: South Lhonak Lake, situated in North West Sikkim, burst due to incessant monsoon rainfall in the early hours of Wednesday, around 12:40 am, causing a flash flood in the region. Areas near the Teesta river have been put on high alert.

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Initial information suggested a cloud burst occurred in South Lhonak Lake, but later it was revealed that the lake, which had been protected by a special embankment to prevent flash floods, had erupted in a glacial lake outburst.

The resulting flash flood made its way through the River Teesta, sweeping away the Indreni Bridge in Singtam town, which is about 30 km from Gangtok, as reported by the Gangtok District Administration. Another connecting bridge in Balutar hamlet was also swept away around 4 am. So far, no casualties have been reported.

According to information from the Mangan District Administration, Chungthang town, located about 90 km north of Gangtok, houses the Teesta Stage 3 dam. Local residents have been evacuated following a high alert. Similarly, the Teesta Stage 5 Dam at Dikchu, also in the Mangan district, was opened up for water discharge after a high alert. It has been reported that the control room of the dam has been severely damaged. The release of water from Dikchu was informed almost 1 and a half hours after the lake burst.

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In Singtam, a major town, many homes in areas adjacent to the River Teesta have been evacuated. Rescue operations are being carried out across areas facing the River Teesta, and temporary relief centers have been opened at Singtam Senior Secondary School.

Meanwhile, the state government has issued a notice stating that in light of the emergency, all government schools and private schools in Gangtok, Pakyong, Namchi, and Mangan districts shall remain closed till October 8.

Also Read | Cloudburst in North Sikkim sparks alert across the state

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