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Indian Army rescues 500 stranded tourists from landslide-hit Sikkim

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GANGTOK, May 20 (PTI): The Indian Army rescued 500 stranded tourists, including 54 children, from north Sikkim as torrential rain in parts of the Himalayan state caused landslides and roadblocks, a defence official said on Saturday.

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Heavy rain was witnessed in Lachen, Lachung and Chungthang on Friday.

As a result of the downpour, approximately 500 tourists, who were travelling to Lachung and Lachen valley, were stranded at Chungthang due to landslides and roadblocks en route, he said.

“On request from SDM Chungthang, troops of Trishakti Corps, Indian Army swung into action and rescued the stranded tourists to safety.

“The stranded tourists included 216 men, 113 women and 54 children, and they were moved to three different army camps. They were provided with hot meals and warm clothing,” the defence spokesperson said.

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He also said, “The quick reaction by the troops avoided any mishap. Efforts were on to clear the roads for vehicular movement as soon as possible. The tourists will be provided with all assistance until the route is cleared for their further journey.”

North Sikkim district collector Hem Chettri said all the tourists, mostly from West Bengal,  were stuck following landslides in Martin area of Chungthang on Friday and they were stranded on the road for several hours before the rescue teams arrived on the spot.

“The roads were cleared today and all tourists have left for their respective destinations,” he said.

Tourists have been advised to exercise caution and follow instructions provided by the authorities, another district official said.

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The army troops vacated their barracks to accommodate the tourists and make them comfortable for the night, the defence official said.

Three medical teams were formed to check the health condition of all the travellers, he said.

“Initial medical check-up by the army medical teams found all tourists stable,” he said, adding that a woman who had visited Gurudongmar Lake complained of severe headache and dizziness.

“She had signs of acute mountain sickness and was provided immediate medical care. The woman was shifted to the ICU in a medical hospital. She was stable this morning,” the official added.

North Sikkim, known for its breathtaking landscapes and serene natural beauty, attracts a large number of tourists every year.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttp://www.thehillstimes.in
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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