Sikkim Floods: 14 Dead, Over 100 Missing As Disaster Hits State; Rescue Ops Underway


At least fourteen people died and 102 others, including 22 army personnel, went missing on October 4 after a cloudburst over Lhonak Lake in north Sikkim triggered a flash flood in the Teesta River basin, officials said.

The lake outburst also resulted in the breach of the Chungthang dam, which is the largest hydropower project in the State.

The National Remote Sensing Centre, one of the ISRO centres, has conducted a satellite-based study on the outburst of the South Lhonak lake in Sikkim by obtaining temporal satellite images (before & after) over the water body. “It is observed that Lake is Burst and about 105 hectares area has been drained out (28 September 2023 image versus 04 October 2023) which might have created a flash flood downstream,” an ISRO statement said on Wednesday.

The National Disaster Management Authority on Wednesday said the possible cause of the flash flood in Sikkim could be a combination of excess rainfall and a Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) event at South Lhonak lake in North Sikkim.

SDRF (State Disaster Response Force) has successfully rescued 25 people, with ongoing efforts to rescue more.

In Namchi district, the LD Kazi Bridge and Indreni Bridge have both succumbed to the force of the flash floods.

A relief camp has been established at Namphing Sai Mandir, currently housing 500 individuals, with plans for permanent relief set up at Pranami Mandir.