In the wake of the Sikkim flash flood disaster, 23 army personnel were initially reported missing from the Bardang area. Regrettably, the death toll has now reached 25, according to officials’ latest updates. In response to this calamity, the Army has undertaken a massive operation employing helicopters to extend relief efforts to the many individuals stranded in the deluge. This sudden flash flood struck the small state on Wednesday, believed to be a result of a potential burst in a high-altitude glacial lake situated near the China-Nepal border. Among the casualties, at least seven were Army personnel.

The Defence PRO in Guwahati issued a warning on Friday, revealing that military equipment, including firearms and explosives, had been swept away by the Teesta river. They urge residents to remain vigilant and promptly report any unfamiliar objects, crates, packages, firearms, or suspicious items found in and around the river. The Army has established monitoring teams along the river’s downstream areas.

Out of the 23 Army personnel initially reported missing from Sikkim’s Bardang region during the flood, seven have tragically lost their lives, and one has been successfully rescued. Authorities are conducting extensive search operations in Sikkim and the northern Bengal region to locate the missing soldiers.

Among the recovered bodies, four have been positively identified. These remains were discovered within the Teesta river basin, as well as its tributaries in Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts, along with the Siliguri area of Darjeeling district in northern West Bengal, which shares its border with Sikkim.

In response to a directive from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) will soon visit the affected areas in Sikkim. The purpose of this visit is to assess the extensive damage caused by a Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF), cloudburst, and flash floods, as stated in an official announcement.

The disaster has left a total of 103 individuals unaccounted for in the aftermath. Among them, 59 were reported missing in Pakyong, 22 in Gangtok, 17 in Mangan, and five in Namchi.

Sikkim’s Chief Secretary, VB Pathak, has confirmed that the Army is actively engaged in the rescue of approximately 3,000 tourists who are stranded in the areas of Lachen, Lachung, and Chungthang in Sikkim.

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