Sikkim quake: Toll rises to 135, relief work on

With 18 more bodies recovered in North Sikkim the toll in Sunday`s devastating quake rose to 135.

Last Updated: Sep 24, 2011, 00:04 AM IST

Tung: With 18 more bodies
recovered in North Sikkim on Friday, the toll in Sunday`s
devastating quake rose to 135 even as hundreds of people in
affected remote areas moved out of their villages fearing
fresh tremors and landslides.

Rescue teams airlifted 22 stranded engineers and
airdropped over 10,000 food packets in the quake-hit
districts.

The disaster management control room in Gangtok said 17
bodies were recovered in the district since noon while one was
found in the morning.

They said rescue workers reached villages surrounding
Dzongu and Chungthang on foot as roads were still blocked by
landslides, making the prospect of the toll rising further
likely.

Scores of survivors trekked through difficult terrain and
inclement weather from Lachung, Lachen and Chungthang reaching
Tung, 10 km from Chungthang, one of the worst-hit areas, and
recounted how huge boulders hurtled down the hills smashing
their homes and leaving many dead and injured.

Over 10,000 food packets have been airdropped in the
quake-hit areas of north Sikkim as two major roads connecting
the region remained blocked due to landslides after Sunday?s
6.8 magnitude earthquake.

Home Ministry officials today said another 5000 food
packets are being sent to Chungthan, Lachung and Lachen.

With 18 more bodies were found under the debris in North
Sikkim, the overall death toll has risen to 118 including 92
in the Himalayan state while West Bengal has reported 15
deaths, nine in Bihar, 11 in Nepal, seven in Tibet and one in
Bhutan.

The number of dead in Sikkim has climbed to 74 in North
District, East [13], West(4) and South (1).

Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling has convened a
high-level meeting with top officials to take stock of the
situation and work out measures to further intensify relief
operations.

More than 100 relief camps have been set up across the
state where food supplies and other required materials have
reached, Chief Secretary Karma Gyatso told reporters.

PTI