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Army, IAF choppers evacuate tourists from landslide-hit north Sikkim

The Trishakti Corps of the army in coordination with civil administration and the IAF, on Sunday used helicopters to airlift tourists stranded in the landslides-hit areas of Lachung, Chatten and Chungthang.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2018 21:17 IST
Pramod Giri
Pramod Giri
Hindustan Times, Siliguri
Sikkim landslides,Sikkim,Indian Army
On Sunday, helicopters made several sorties to Gangtok and Sevok near Siliguri and evacuated approximately 60 people.(ANI Photo)

Indian Army and Indian Air Force personnel on Sunday airlifted stranded tourists from landslides-hit north Sikkim, which had remained cut off from rest of the state for the last four days, officials said.

The civil administration is hopeful of restoring the roads connecting Mangan, the North district headquarters and Gangtok, the state capital, within the next two days. However, it would take at least 15 days to restore the road connectivity between Mangan and Chungthang, the worst hit region further north.

The Trishakti Corps of the army in coordination with civil administration and the IAF, on Sunday used helicopters to airlift tourists stranded in the landslides-hit areas of Lachung, Chatten and Chungthang. North Sikkim has remained cut off as incessant rains since last Sunday triggered multiple landslides and road bridges at many places were washed away.

On Sunday, helicopters made several sorties to Gangtok and Sevok near Siliguri and evacuated approximately 60 people, which also included senior citizens, women and children. A pregnant woman and her husband were also evacuated from Mangan, said Colonel SJ Tiwari, who is in charge of the rescue operations.

Karma R Bonpo, the district collector of North Sikkim said they were trying to restore roads between Mangan and Gangtok in two days. However, it would take at least two weeks to connect Chungthang and Mangan, He said.

Bonpo also informed that three buildings are in a precarious condition at Mangan and the residents have been evacuated.

Meanwhile, National Highway 10 connecting Sikkim and Kalimpong district of West Bengal was reopened for vehicles after 36 hours on Sunday afternoon. Multiple landslides had damaged the highway that connects Sikkim with the rest of the country.

First Published: Sep 16, 2018 21:17 IST