Monday, June 27, 2011

Recovery operations continue in West Sikkim landslides

NAMCHI, 27 June: West Sikkim continues to grapple with the horror visited on it by the landslide of 23 June which claimed 16 lives in three separate incidents. Working in the slush through the day yesterday, the search and rescue operations at Khewadara retrieved the remaining six dead bodies from the debris of the house in which 14 people perished. The bodies recovered in a joint operation were of Man Maya Rai [30], Anup Rai [8], Buddha Rai [2], Pujan Subba [12], Sreejan Subba [11] and Dawa Tamang [66].

The recovery operation of West District Disaster Management Cell was led by DPO [West], Zigmee Bhutia, and involved personnel from SSB, Fire and Emergency Service, Sikkim Police with local residents. Eight bodies had been recovered on Friday, the day after the landslide.
Meanwhile, the survivors and families living in houses still under threat or damaged by the slides have been evacuated to the staff quarters of Pelling Senior Secondary School and are being looked after by the Pelling Tourism Development Association and the district administration.
The affected areas were also visited again by the Road & Bridges Minister, RB Subba, Deputy Speaker, MB Dahal and area MLA, PL Subba, along with the Secretaries of various departments and district officials.
The Minister handed over an ex gratia payment of Rs 1 lakh to one of the affected families even as ex gratia payments are being processed for other affected families as well.
Given the severity of the damage and injuries, it has also been decided that the State will bear the entire expenses [with no ceiling] incurred in the treatment of those injured in the landslides. The normal recourse would have been to hand over Rs. 50,000 to the families of those injured in the incident, but this might not cover the cost of treatment, it is felt.
Meanwhile, a 30-member team of personnel from National Disaster Management Cell, Jalpaiguri, has also arrived in Gyalshing to assist with the efforts of the State in mitigating the disaster which has hit the district

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