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Monday, Jun 29, 2020 13:45 [IST]

Last Update: Monday, Jun 29, 2020 08:05 [IST]


Slides fracture road networks, several villages affected

Entire Passingdong village evacuated

GANGTOK: The entire Dzongu is cut-off from rest of the State following multiple slides across the area due to heavy rains for the past few days. The worst-affected area is Passingdong village in Upper Dzongu, about 10 km away Mangan, the north district headquarters.
According to the information available, a massive landslide came down from uphill Panang on Saturday night which damaged around 19 houses, local road and government secondary school at Passindong. Since the landslide is active and threatens to cause more damage due to continuous rains, the authorities have evacuated the residents of entire village to a safer location.
Dzongu MLA PintsoNamgyal Lepcha reached the spot early morning along with DC (north) Tenzing T.Kaleon, SP (north) Ongmu Bhutia and others to inspect the damages and oversee relief works.
“Both Upper Dzongu and Lower Dzongu are cut-off from rest of the State due to multiple slides at different places. The worst-affected area is Passingdong where a massive slide came down from uphill Panang at around 8 pm Saturday night. The authorities are evacuating the entire village since the Panang landslide is active and could engulf the entire area if it rains more,” said the Dzongu MLA to SIKKIM EXPRESS.
Panang is about one km uphill from Passindong. The hill side gave away following intense rains in the past two days.
According to a report from Sikkim investigation division of Central Water Commission based in Gangtok, Sangkhalang - the entry point to Passingdong and other villages of Upper Dzongu - recorded 227.4 mm and 102.4 mm rainfall in the past two days. Similarly, Mangan received 246.3 mm and 125 mm rainfall in the past two days.
Thirty five families of Passingdong have been evacuated so far considering the damages to their houses and threat posed by further slides. They have been shifted to nearby PHC which is located in a safer zone along thePassingdong-Lingthem road.
A similar major landslide had taken place at Passingdong in 2018.
Road connectivity is not available from Sangkhalang onwards and the authorities and relief workers are reaching the spot on foot or through transhipments. Tingvong, Sakyong-Pentong and other villages beyond Passingdong are already cut-off since 2016 following the Mantam slide. The road from Mangan to Sangkhalang was also disrupted in the morning hours of Saturday.
The North Sikkim highway which connects Gangtok with Mangan is also disrupted due to slides at some places. Similarly, the Singtam-Dikchu-Mangan route is also not reliable at the moment for vehicular movement.
Meanwhile, landslides have damaged houses and roads at Lingdok-BarfokGPU and Hee-Gyathang, both in Upper Dzongu. The entire Dzongu is cut-off due to slides occurring since past couple of days, said the area MLA.
Lum in Lower Dzongu also saw damage to houses and land due to landslides.
“Due to the extensive landslides and continuous rains, it is not possible to talk about restoration measures at the moment. Right now we can only undertake relief measures since entire Dzongu is affected. Cracks have appeared on the lands at many villages that may give way to landslides if the rains do not stop,” said the Dzongu MLA.
The Gangtok Met office informed that ‘very heavy rainfall’ have taken place in different parts of the State especially north district.
“Heavy rainfall will continue till Sunday. From Monday (29 June), the rainfall will slightly subside but from July 1, it will again increase which may lead to some natural calamity”, said Met director G.N.Raha when contacted by SIKKIM EXPRESS.
PintsoNamgyal added that as the area MLA, he has been submitting reports of the landslide-affected areas to the State government. The Chief Minister is also being continuously updated about the situation, he said.
Land Revenue & Disaster Management secretary P.N. Sherpa informed that the district disaster management team is at Passingdong assessing the damage and supporting the preventive measures. The team from Gangtok could not be dispatched due to road connectivity issue today, it was informed.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi