IAF evacuates 461 more tourists from North Sikkim 

Over the last four days, a total of 3,871 people, including tourists, have been evacuated by air and foot from North Sikkim towns.
Representational Image: DRF personnel carry out the restoration work at flood-hit areas of Chungthang, in Mangan district, Sikkim. (Photo | PTI)
Representational Image: DRF personnel carry out the restoration work at flood-hit areas of Chungthang, in Mangan district, Sikkim. (Photo | PTI)

GANGTOK: Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters on Thursday evacuated 461 tourists from flash flood-hit towns in North Sikkim, a senior official said.

IAF helicopters carried out six sorties from Lachen, Lachung and surrounding areas and evacuated 264 tourists and 23 locals from there, he said, adding they landed at Pakyong airport.

Another 99 people, including 85 tourists, 12 locals and two army jawans, were airlifted from North Sikkim to Libing helipad near the state capital.

IAF helicopters evacuated another 75 people, including 17 tourists, 55 locals and three labourers, to Ringhim helipad in Mangan.

Over the last four days, a total of 3,871 people, including tourists, have been evacuated by air and foot from North Sikkim towns.

Around 3,000 tourists, including foreigners, had gotten stranded in North Sikkim for nearly a week after a cloudburst over Lhonak glacial lake on October 3 led to a massive flash flood in Teesta river, causing devastation downstream in four districts of Sikkim.

Apart from the evacuation efforts, the IAF helicopters had also transported supplies to army, ITBP and civilians in remote areas.

Meanwhile, the death toll in Sikkim due to the flash flood stood at 37, including 10 army jawans, while 78 people remained missing, according to the State Disaster Management Authority (SSDMA).

A total of 3,709 people have been displaced by the flood and sheltered at 21 relief camps.

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