Indian Armed Forces rescue 2,000+ people and bolster operations with 200 additional personnel amid Sikkim flood crisis.
Indian Air Force used Mi-17 V5 choppers for the evacuation mission. (Photo: IAF)
The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Army are actively engaged in ongoing rescue operations in flood-affected areas of Sikkim, having successfully evacuated more than 2,000 individuals. The IAF played a pivotal role, using Chinook and Mi-17 V5 helicopters to rescue 1,700 people from flood-stricken regions.
Meanwhile, 245 individuals in the isolated village of Rabom, North Sikkim, were rescued by Army personnel who navigated challenging terrains from October 7 to 13.
The Army further evacuated 97 workers from the Kundan Hydro Power Project and 80 to 100 local residents stranded by the flash floods. The catastrophe was triggered by a cloudburst over Lhonak Lake on October 4, impacting roughly 87,300 people.
The rescue operations will persist as long as needed, as per the IAF’s statement. Additionally, the Air Force deployed an extra 200 personnel to enhance evacuation efforts.
The IAF’s helicopters conducted nearly 200 sorties, delivering approximately 99 tonnes of relief materials. The flood has had devastating consequences, with at least 77 lives lost, including ten army personnel, and 80 people still missing. Efforts to restore connectivity in isolated areas are underway, with temporary bridges and other means being employed.
In Chungthang, the worst-affected area, the Army and BRO personnel cleared the road, and a log bridge was constructed with assistance from ITBP and locals. Mobile phone connectivity has been reestablished in Lachung, with plans to do the same for Lachen Valley.