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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 July 2024

50 tourists stuck due to bad weather evacuated from north Sikkim on day one

Over 1,200 tourists, including two from Thailand, three from Nepal and 10 from Bangladesh, had been struck in Lachung and other northern areas of the Himalayan state since June 13 after landslides and flash floods had damaged roads and bridges

Vivek Chhetri Darjeeling Published 18.06.24, 05:02 AM
Stranded tourists being helped with ropes negotiate a difficult stretch in north Sikkim on Monday

Stranded tourists being helped with ropes negotiate a difficult stretch in north Sikkim on Monday

The evacuation of tourists from north Sikkim, who have been stranded for the past five days, started on Monday but most of them could not be rescued because of inclement weather.

Over 1,200 tourists, including two from Thailand, three from Nepal and 10 from Bangladesh, had been struck in Lachung and other northern areas of the Himalayan state since June 13 after landslides and flash floods had damaged roads and bridges.

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Mangan district magistrate Hem Kumar Chhetri told The Telegraph: “We had planned to airlift the tourists but were unable to do so because of inclement weather. Today, we managed to rescue 50 tourists who are on their way to Gangtok.”

The administration had put in place adequate measures to ensure that tourists could walk through the debris of landslides.

“We ensured the tourists did not face problems while walking through the rubble. In between the spots of landslides, we had kept transit vehicles to transport the tourists and their luggage,” said Chhetri.

Sources said ropes had been used so the tourists could negotiate the landslide-hit stretches without much discomfort.

Connectivity in north Sikkim was disrupted after a newly constructed suspension bridge at Sanklang collapsed.

Sources said the rescue operation was possible after the Border Roads Organisation and the state government managed to restore connectivity between Chungthang and Magan — the district headquarters — by constructing a bridge at Toong over the Teesta river.

“The tourists who were rescued today were all stranded at Chungthang,” said Chhetri.

From Chungthang, they were brought to Mangan and were on the way to Gangtok.

Sikkim government officials said they were hoping to evacuate all the tourists within the next two days provided the weather didn’t play spoilsport.

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