Gangtok: “The estimated losses suffered due to the massive earthquake in Sikkim are at Rs one lakh crore,” said CM Pawan Chamling said today in a Press conference. “A full estimate of the losses incurred is being prepared and a report will be sent to Centre seeking financial assistance.”
The state publicity department has issued a press release that at least 68 people have been confirmed killed and at least 2000 houses including government buildings have been severely damaged. Number of partially damaged houses is around one lakh. The buildings damaged include school buildings, panchayat ghars, BDO offices, hospitals, primary health centres and also private houses.
The worst affected north Sikkim still remains out of reach. The epicenter of earthquake was in North Sikkim’s Chungthang. Mangan, as reported earlier to be the epicenter of earthquake is around 38.3 KM from Chungthang. There is not much damage in Mangan which is also in North Sikkim. A local ward Counselor of Mangan Neema Lepcha told iSikkim.com on phone that in Mangan the building have developed cracks as a result of quake but the situation is normal.
In the worst affected North Sikkim there is no road communication beyond Mangan. At least nine villages in north Sikkim are still unreachable due to landslides and unfavourable weather conditions. While connectivity (both road and mobile) has improved in Mangan, Chungthan remains out of reach. Rescue teams are yet to reach Chungthang.
In the Dzongu area of North District, fresh landslides and casualties have been reported and the district officials have proceeded on foot to provide relief. Air dropping of food and ration is also underway.
The rescue teams have save at today 43 tourists who were stranded in Lachung village in North Sikkim. The tourists have been airlifted to Mangan and are en-route to Gangtok. Some more tourist are supposed to be stranded in various parts of the district and all measures are being taken to evacuate them. Some tourists were airlifted from Ringzim helipad here.
The CM thanked Army, NDRF and disaster management personnel for the relief work. Though there have been reports from North Sikkim of Army ignoring common people in its rescue operations.
The Chief Minister is visiting North Sikkim on Thursday i.e. 22. 09. 2011 where he will be personally monitoring and giving relief measures to the victims. Thereafter he is slated to also visit South and West Districts to oversee relief measures.
(With inputs from IPR and Agencies)