A significant avalanche in Sikkim’s Nathula region on Tuesday claimed the lives of at least seven visitors and injured another twelve. The search effort has resumed today and up to 20 people have so far been saved.
By 3 PM, 14 people had been saved and transported to a neighbouring Army hospital. However, seven people passed away. The other seven patients received first aid and were then transported back to Gangtok, according to the Indian Army.
The District Magistrate of Gangtok has announced that the NDRF is no longer needed and that the relief efforts have been suspended. He stated that twelve victims are receiving medical care.
The Indian prime minister expressed his condolences for the deceased and wished the wounded a speedy recovery.
“Distressed by the avalanche in Sikkim. Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. I hope the injured recover soon. Rescue ops are underway and all possible assistance is being provided to those affected,” PMO tweeted quoting the PM.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah offered his condolences and stated that his department is carefully monitoring the situation.
“My sincerest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in the tragic avalanche in Sikkim. We are closely monitoring the situation and the teams of NDRF will reach the affected area soon. I pray for the speedy recovery of those injured,” Shah tweeted.
Rajnath Singh, the defence minister, offered his condolences for the event.
“Saddened by the loss of precious lives due to an avalanche in East Sikkim. Search and Rescue Ops are being carried out by the Indian Army, SDRF and other agencies. My deepest condolences to the bereaved families. Praying for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he tweeted.
A senior police officer in this area said, “Rescue and clearance operations are still ongoing.” Teams from the Indian Army and Sikkim Police are helping with the recovery efforts.
The Border Roads Organization (BRO) also started a search and recovery effort there. Up until this point, 22 visitors, including six from deep valleys, have been saved and transferred to nearby hospitals.
On Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, close to the 15th milestone, the landslide happened around 11:10 am. The BRO has in the meantime opened the route for traffic.
Due to its breathtaking scenery, Nathula Pass, which is located on the border with China, is a popular tourist location.
According to officials, about 350 people and 80 vehicles that were stranded on the road due to the snow blocking the route from Nathu La were also transported back.
Mallikarjun Kharge, the president of the Congress, also expressed sorrow and said he had complete confidence in the rescue teams working to save lives.
Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal, expressed her profound sorrow over the sad event in Sikkim. “I offer my sincerest condolences to the bereaved families and pray for the speedy recovery of those who were injured. Praying for the safety and security of all,” she said in a tweet.