Sikkim quake: State limps back to normalcy
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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.


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

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