IMD issues red alert for Sikkim, parts of north Bengal as heavy rains continue | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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IMD issues red alert for Sikkim, parts of north Bengal as heavy rains continue

Jun 15, 2024 05:33 PM IST

Incessant rains over the past few days in Sikkim have triggered multiple landslides blocking roads, damaging several houses, killing cattle and poultry and severing road connectivity

Kolkata: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Saturday issued a red alert for four districts in north Bengal and adjoining Sikkim and also warned of possible landslides and flooding even as heavy rains continued to batter the region.

Massive landslides triggered by incessant rainfalls has left over 1,200 tourists stranded in Sikkim (Twitter/ video screengrab)
Massive landslides triggered by incessant rainfalls has left over 1,200 tourists stranded in Sikkim (Twitter/ video screengrab)

In North Sikkim, around 1,200–1,500 tourists have been stranded as the area remained cut off from the rest of the state since Thursday and efforts were on to airlift them.

“In North Sikkim, 1,200-1,500 tourists are stranded. The situation became grave after the collapse of the newly constructed suspension bridge at Sanklang as entire connectivity to North Sikkim and Dzongu region was through this bridge”, read a statement issued by the Sikkim government.

Meanwhile, at least nine local residents in South Sikkim and North Sikkim have been killed in landslides to date.

Incessant rains over the past few days in Sikkim have triggered multiple landslides blocking roads, damaging several houses, killing cattle and poultry and severing road connectivity, power and communication lines.

The Bailey bridge, built by the Indian Army after the October 2023 flash flood in the Himalayan state at Sanklang, was also damaged. 

“Efforts are being made by BRO [Border Roads Organisation] to restore connectivity to North Sikkim via the recently constructed Modular bridge at Toong,” said the official statement from the Sikkim government.

Several areas, including Damthang, Gangtok, Tadong and Ranipool, received 50 mm to 90 mm rain in the last 24 hours till around Saturday morning. 

“A red alert was issued for Mangan district (North Sikkim) till Sunday morning and an orange alert has been sounded for the other districts, including Pakyong, Gangtok and Namchi, till at least around Tuesday,” said an IMD official in Gangtok.

Officials said that while a trough of low pressure was located over north Bengal and Sikkim, a cyclonic circulation was located over north Bangladesh and adjoining areas. Also, moisture-laden winds were gushing in from the Bay of Bengal. Together, these systems were triggering heavy rains in north Bengal and Sikkim.

In north Bengal, the IMD issued a red alert for three districts – Alipurduar, Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri – till around June 17. The water level in several rivers was rising. Some pockets in Alipurduar district received around 210 mm of rain, said officials. 

“There may be heavy to very heavy rainfall. There are possibilities of landslides and water levels rising in rivers such as Teesta, Jaldhaka, Sankosh and Torsa. Also, there are possibilities of flash floods,” said an IMD official in Kolkata.

Even as districts in the northern part of the state were being battered by heavy rains, those in south Bengal were reeling under a heatwave and very hot and humid conditions.

On Saturday, some pockets were hit by thunderstorms and lightning. The IMD issued warnings of heatwave in Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram, West Burdwan and West Midnapore on Saturday.

“Conditions were favourable for advancement of south-west monsoon to some parts of Gangetic West Bengal (south Bengal districts) and cover the remaining parts of north Bengal (sub-Himalayan West Bengal) during the next four to five days,” said an IMD official.

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