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Flash Floods in Sikkim Leave 23 Indian Soldiers Missing

Reports indicate that 23 army soldiers have gone missing due to a flash flood in the Teesta River of Lachen Valley, caused by a sudden cloud burst over Lhonak Lake in North Sikkim.

The Defence Public Relations Officer (PRO) in Guwahati shared the incident on X, stating, “23 army personnel have been reported missing due to a flash flood that occurred in Teesta River in Lachen Valley after a sudden cloud burst over Lhonak Lake in North Sikkim.”

The Gangtok District Administration provided details about the flash flood, mentioning that it passed through River Teesta, sweeping away the Indreni Bridge in Singtam town, located around 30 kilometers from Gangtok. A connecting bridge in the Balutar hamlet was also washed away at approximately 4 am.

The flash flood was triggered by a cloud burst at South Lhonak Lake in North West Sikkim, resulting in continuous monsoon rainfall during the early hours of Wednesday morning.

According to the Mangan District Administration, Chungthang town, situated 90 kilometers north of Gangtok, is home to the Teesta Stage 3 Dam. Due to high alert, local residents in the area have been evacuated. The Teesta Stage 5 dam in Dikchu, Mangan district, was also opened for water disbursement after a high alert. Reports indicate that the dam’s control room has suffered significant damage.

Many homes near the River Teesta in Singtam, Gangtok, have been evacuated, and temporary relief facilities have been established at Singtam Senior Secondary School, according to officials.

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