Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lachung in North Sikkim after Earthquake
 GANGTOK, 25 Sept: Sub Divisional Megistrate, Chungthang, Tashi Chopel, the senior-most Sikkim State Government official at the devastatingly hit North Sikkim town, has a large beat to cover, covering the entire stretch north of Chungthang.
He was in station on the evening of 18 September when the earthquake struck, damaging more than 80% of the structures there leaving 12 dead and many injured. This has been the worst hit town of the State and the officer has had his hands full, his task starting immediately last Sunday with handling the rescue of people trapped in a collapsed building there. He has had to look out for the more than 2,000 people living in Chungthang will still coordinating efforts to reach relief to affected areas in the sub-division.
All roads to Chungthang, from every side is cut off but helicopter flights have finally stabilised. As the situation settles down to some extent in Chungthang, with the relief measures organised, the SDM today left for Lachung.
Inclement weather made helicopter sorties impossible, and with rumours spreading panic and confusion and to assure residents in Lachung that the administration was genuinely concerned for them, Mr. Chopel walked it to Lachung today.
Lachung is 22 kms from Chungthang, but the road is littered with landslides so big that officials are not even wagering a guess on by when it will be cleared for traffic. Mr. Chopel obviously took the risk as much to make a first-hand appraisal of the situation there as to reassure residents that concern for their welfare was genuine.
Meanwhile officials in Gangtok announced today that two Medical Officers each were being flown to the Primary Health Sub-Centres at Lachen and Lachung in Army helicopters on Sunday.

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