Sikkim quake: State limps back to normalcy

Last Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2011 - 23:13

Tung: A week after the 6.8
magnitude temblor ravaged its North district, Sikkim is
limping back to normalcy with most of the connecting roads in
the remote areas restored even as rains impeded rescue and
relief work.

State HRD minister NK Pradhan said that life is
gradually returning to normal though rescue and relief
operations are continuing in far-flung areas.

Pradhan said so far 1,489 houses have been found to be
destroyed in the quake in worst-affected North district and
the state government would provide all assistance for
reconstruction of schools and houses.

"23 schools, mostly in North Sikkim, have been completely
destroyed, while 190 schools have been partially damaged," he
said, adding that steps would be taken to rebuild them.

Meanwhile, the 95 km-long Singtam-Chungthang has been
cleared of landslides up to 86 kms, facilitating rescuers to
the more remote areas hit by the quake.

Army sources said a 6-km-stretch was cleared on the
Chungthang side. "If the rest of the stretch is cleared of
debris, the entire road from Singtam will be ready for normal
traffic."

The two roads from Chungthang -- one to Lachen and
another to Lachung -- were also being gradually cleared of
boulders.

"So roads in affected areas closer to quake epicentre in
North district are nearly cleared of debris by GREF (General
Reserve Engineering Force) of the Army," he added.

Chief Minister Pawan Chamling toured affected areas of
Mangan and visited patients in the hospital yesterday. He also
assured them of government assistance.

Officials said 52 new relief camps have been started in
different areas of Mangan, Naga, Limbu, Mangsila, Dikchu and
Makha in North district and have provided shelter to about
2,000 people who trekked down here since yesterday from remote
areas of Chungthang, Lachen and Lachung.

The camps, being run by NGOs, social organisations and
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), are also providing
food, drinking water and medicine to people.

Meanwhile, a central team of the Health ministry arrived
here during the day and visited the relief camps.

A member said the team`s main purpose is to prevent
outbreak of water-borne diseases like dysentery and diarrhoea.

Official sources said fresh land slips occurred in some
areas of North district last night which was lashed by
occasional rains.

However, no fresh damage was reported as yet due to
rains.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, September 24, 2011 - 23:13

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