When nature unleashes its fury, even the most serene landscapes can turn treacherous. Such was the case in Lachung, Sikkim, where an unexpected deluge left tourists stranded and authorities on high alert. In this article, we’ll explore the recent heavy rains that battered the region, leading to the evacuation of 690 tourists in just two days.
The Deluge in Lachung
Lachung, a picturesque town in north Sikkim, is renowned for its stunning landscapes, including Yumthang and Gurudongmar, popular tourist destinations. However, Mother Nature had other plans as heavy rains pounded the area, catching several tourists off guard. The situation escalated as fears of landslides and rising river levels grew.
Thankfully, swift action was taken by authorities, and a few hundred stranded tourists were successfully rescued and relocated to safer areas near Gangtok. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) played a pivotal role by issuing timely warnings about the impending heavy rainfall.
According to the IMD, a heavy rain alert was issued for Bengal, Lachung, and Sikkim over the weekend, with the possibility of landslides. Tourists and residents were urged to stay updated with the latest information, and authorities in Sikkim advised against visiting certain northern Himalayan tourist destinations.
The meteorological data paints a stark picture of the intensity of this year’s rainfall. Between June 1 and June 16, Gangtok received a staggering 632.5 mm of rain, surpassing the figures of 2020 and 2021, which stood at 232.1 mm and 486.6 mm, respectively. This significant increase in rainfall raised concerns about flooding and landslides.
The deluge didn’t spare the neighboring areas either. In the last 24 hours, places like Buxadur and Hasimara in the Alipurduar district of Bengal saw around 250 mm and 230 mm of rainfall, respectively. Numerous locations reported over 50 mm of rain, leading to rising water levels in rivers.
The increased rainfall also had repercussions for low-lying areas, with parts of Torsa and Kaljani experiencing rising water levels. Authorities issued warnings in Alipurduar and Cooch Behar districts to ensure residents remained safe.
Despite the challenges posed by the heavy rainfall, there is some good news on the horizon. The regional office in Kolkata has stated that the monsoon is likely to cover the remaining parts of West Bengal in the next two to three days. This forecast suggests that Assam and Sikkim can expect more heavy rainfall during the weekend.
Nature’s unpredictable temperament serves as a reminder of our vulnerability in the face of natural disasters. The recent heavy rains in Lachung and its neighboring regions underscore the importance of preparedness and timely action. Our thoughts are with those affected by the deluge, and we hope for a swift recovery.
Q1: What triggered the heavy rainfall in Lachung?
The heavy rainfall in Lachung was a result of a weather system that brought intense monsoon rains to the region, as warned by the Indian Meteorological Department.
Q2: How many tourists were evacuated?
In just two days, 690 tourists were airlifted to safety from Lachung and its surroundings.
Q3: Were there any casualties reported?
Fortunately, no casualties were reported as authorities acted promptly to rescue and relocate stranded tourists.
Q4: What precautions should tourists take during monsoon season in hilly areas?
Tourists visiting hilly areas during the monsoon season should stay informed about weather alerts, follow local authorities’ guidance, and avoid venturing into risky areas.
Q5: Is this level of rainfall unusual for the region?
Yes, the recorded rainfall in Lachung this year has exceeded the levels of the past two years, causing concerns about potential flooding and landslides.