Constant downpour causes massive landslide in North Sikkim and flood-like situations in North Bengal
By Editor: Adhya Kalra
North Sikkim has been receiving continuous rainfall from past few days which in turn has kindled a massive landslide in Passingdang village in North Sikkim on 28 June 2020, Sunday morning.
While No casualties have been reported yet, but there is notable damage to properties. Hundreds of people lost their homes and belongings. Luckily, they were evacuated before the landslide hit their area.
Continuous precipitation has led to many landslides in the state including one above NHPC’s Teesta-V project at Dikchu in East Sikkim. Fortunately, no substantial damage was done to the dam.
Besides this, landslides have also made The Dzongu region in the state, out of reach for vehicles and have affected Tea plantation in eastern Dooars. Also, the district headquarters of North Sikkim, areas to the North of Mangan are inaccessible because of landslides.
Meanwhile, in West Bengal, The heavy showers since Thursday evening have caused a flood-like danger in some areas of Cooch Behar and Malda districts where the water level in streams and rivers rose and swallowed the river banks. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert in five districts of north Bengal for Saturday ad Saturday i.e. 27-28 June 2020.
In Cooch Behar, the Bura Dharala river, and the Giridhari and the Dharala rivers have started gobbling the lands of neighbouring villages and banks. Round-the-clock control rooms, Flood shelters and relief stocks have been prepared by The Cooch Behar district administration beforehand in case the situations worsen.
The water level of rivers like Fulhar, Ganga and Mahananda in Malda has also risen, reaching not too far from the danger level.
Although the state is always prepared for the floods during monsoon season, this year all the flood shelters were converted to quarantine centres for the people suffering from COVID-19, leading to the rise of a new problem. “If there is a flood, the affected would be shifted elsewhere and the flood centres would be used for the right purpose after proper sanitisation,” said Ashok Modak, additional district magistrate (general), Malda.