Sikkim Flood: 14 people died, 102 people missing due to cloud burst and flood

14 people have died due to cloud burst and flash flood in Sikkim. More than 2,000 people have been rescued and state authorities have set up 26 relief camps for more than 22,000 people affected by the floods. About 102 people, including 22 army personnel, are missing.

In flood-hit Sikkim, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) told stock exchanges that its power projects located in the Teesta basin have been affected. NHPC’s Teesta-V Power Station (510 MW) and Teesta-VI HE Project (500 MW) have been executed. As a result, NHPC has shut down all the units of its power stations.

“Power stations/projects of NHPC Limited (including its wholly owned subsidiaries) located in Teesta Basin were affected due to flash floods in the area. You are also informed that in view of the emergency, all units of Teesta-V Power Station have been shut down. A detailed assessment of the damage/loss will be done after the water level recedes. Loss of property and profits of the power station is fully insured under the Mega Insurance Policy. All assets of Teesta-VI project are also insured under the Construction All Risk Policy,” NHPC told the stock exchange on Thursday.

A soldier who was reported missing on Wednesday was later rescued by authorities.

Eleven bridges were washed away by flood waters, which also affected pipelines, and more than 270 houses were damaged or destroyed in four districts.

Flooding occurred along the Teesta River in the Lachen Valley in Sikkim state and worsened after parts of a dam washed away.

Several towns in the Teesta basin, including Dikchu and Rangpo, were flooded and schools in four districts were ordered closed till Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office said in a statement that the government would support state authorities following the floods.

The flooding was caused by a cloudburst – sudden, very heavy rainfall – which is defined when more than 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) of rainfall falls within 10 square kilometers (3.8 square miles) within an hour. Cloud bursts can cause intense floods and landslides that will affect thousands of people.

The hilly Himalayan region where Sikkim is located has seen heavy monsoon rains this season.

(with agency input)