On Wednesday morning, the route from Chungthang to major tourist destination of Lachung was blocked due to landslides at multiple locations
Kolkata: The Indian Army has evacuated nearly 550 tourists after they got stranded due to landslides caused by heavy rainfall in North Sikkim. At around 7 am on Wednesday, the route from Chungthang to major tourist destination of Lachung was blocked due to landslides at multiple locations.
At a place 2 km north of Chungthang, a massive landslide occurred. At least 150 vehicles with 550 tourists got stuck on both side of the landslide. This traffic kept on increasing till 10 am due to lack of communication as mobile connectivity was also disturbed due to heavy rainfall.
The 33 Corps of the Eastern Command said that the Army camp at Lachung immediately swung into action on request of civil administration to provide all out assistance to the stranded tourists and locals amid a heavy rainfall and inclement weather conditions with freezing temperature.
It added, "While road clearance was in progress, the tourists started feeling uneasiness due to traffic blockage and harsh weather conditions. The Army provided immediate relief to stranded tourists in terms of water, food and medical care to elderly persons and infants. Some of the critical tourists, shivering due to cold conditions were brought back to the nearest medical facility for further assistance."
A senior Army officer said, "The Border Road Organisation also got into action but route was not opened in spite of best efforts due to heavy landslide and unprecedented rainfall throughout the day. At around 4 pm, some of the tourists were stranded for more than eight hours at blockage site. The Army also assisted the Sikkim Police in regulating the heavy traffic of more than 150 vehicles. By 6 pm all tourists were brought back to the safety of their respective hotels in Lachung."