At least 14 people have been confirmed dead, and hundreds more are missing after roads, bridges, and dams were destroyed in a horror flash flood.

India Faces Flood Aftermath

Around 120 people remain unaccounted for after heavy rains devastated north Sikkim, India, in early this morning (Wednesday, October 4). The downpours also washed away at least six bridges and a national highway running from the India-Bangladesh border to Gangtok, NH10, suffered severe damage.

“North Sikkim has been totally cut off from the rest of the state while Sikkim has been cut off from the rest of India as the flood had badly hit NH10,” said Prabhakar Rai, director of Sikkim’s disaster management department.

Authorities in the region have warned the death toll is likely to rise quickly. It is believed the real number of bodies retrieved from the disaster so far is already around 40, reports Hindustan Times.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Chief Minister of Sikkim Prem Singh Tamang wrote: “We are all aware of the recent natural calamity that has struck our state. Emergency services have been mobilized to the affected areas, and I personally visited Singtam to assess the damages and engage with the local community.”

The area suffered a whopping 39mm of rain between Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Scientists had previously warned heavy rainfall could pose a problem in the region because of the South Lhonak Lake, home to the Lhonak glacier, which has been melting at a concerning rate for a number of years.

This has caused the lake to grow abnormally fast, sparking concern a Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) could take place.

The Sikkim government said in a statement: “The Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) in portions of Lhonak Lake in Mangan district, which caused the rise of water levels with very high velocities downstream along the Teesta River Basin in the early hours of October 4, 2023, has caused severe damage in Mangan, Gangtok, Pakyong, and Namchi Districts.”

National Disaster Reserve Force (NDRF) teams rushed to the scene and are now working in Sikkim and bordering areas. A flood alert has also been issued for areas of West Bengal and neighboring Bangladesh.

This article is a repost from the Daily Star: At least 14 dead and hundreds missing as bridges and roads washed away in flood

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