Earthquake Update in Sikkim and Elsewhere on 19 Sept, 2011 at 4.00 pm

The latest human casualties reported (by Governor) in Sikkim are 22, in addition to death of 2 Army personnel, 6 persons are reported to be still trapped. As indicated by Chief Secretary, Sikkim, 75 people have been hospitalized while 5 have been discharged. Several hundred public buildings and large number of private houses have suffered damage, The Secretariat building at Gangtok is also badly affected. Govt of Sikkim have announced ex-gratia compensation of 5 lakh for each death, 50,000 for major injury and 30,000 for cases of minor injury.

  1. The National Highway-31A has suffered landslides at over 21 places, over a cumulative length of 700 meters. It was reported by Director General, Border Road Organization and Chief Secretary, Sikkim that the road could be opened for traffic by 4.00 p.m. today. The NDRF personnel who are stranded at Bagdogra will be able to reach Sikkim once the road is opened for traffic. (At 1.30 p.m. information has been received that NH-31A is functional till Singtam, 29 km short of Gangtok).

  2. The damage of road from Gangtok to Nathula (61 kms) is yet to be assessed fully. The first 24 kms of road has been surveyed so far showing 12 landslides and severe damage to the road-formation over a cumulative stretch of 90 meters. Restoration of this road is unlikely to take place immediately, as indicated by DG, BRO.

  3. The third important road in Sikkim which is affected badly is North Sikkim Highway from Gangtok to Chungthang (95 kms). About 400 meters of road-formation has been damaged due to 16 landslides. Restoration of this road too is likely to take some time.

  4. The loss of life reported in Darjeeling area by Chief Secretary, West Bengal is 5. The Darjeeling-Siliguri road has been blocked by 2 landslides, Repair work has started and the road is likely to be opened for traffic today itself.

  5. In Bihar, 2 persons are reported to have died; one due to earthquake related stampede (Darbhanga) and the other due to collapse of wall (Nalanda). The situation does not appear to be alarming.

  6. As far as the Central agencies are concerned, restoration work of communication has started with full swing. The Border Road Organization, which has lost one Junior Engineer, is at work with maximum manpower and equipment to clear the landslides and restore communication at various points at NH-31A. Restoration work of Siliguri-Darjeeling road is going to be completed by 3.00 p.m. today. 120 columns of Army including 10 engineering columns have also been deployed in restoration/relief work.

  7. Power situation has improved in the meanwhile. All the major power generating stations i.e. Teesta Stage-V, Rangit, Chukha, and Ramman with a total capacity of 845 MW have been made operational. 220 KV lines have been fully restored. Power supply (20 MW) to Gangtok is available. However, 66 KV line from Gangtok to Tadong is yet to be restored, which is to be done by the State Electricity Board. M/o Power has given instructions to the Power Grid personnel to help the State Electricity Board in the restoration work.

  8. As regard telecommunication network, landlines have been fully restored. Out of 489 mobile towers / BTSs, 273 are functioning. The damage to the remaining 216 mobile towers is reported to be to the extent of 10-100%. M/o Telecommunication has indicated requirement over 20,000 litres of diesel daily to keep the BTSs operational. M/o Petroleum has been directed to make diesel available to the service providers on priority basis.

  9. A team of 9 doctors and 10 paramedics despatched from Delhi by M/o Health & Family Welfare has already reached Siliguri. The team will proceed to Gangtok once the Siliguri-Darjeeling road is restored. Chief Secretary, Sikkim has, however, informed that there is no urgency of dispatching medical teams.

  10. Nine NDRF teams were despatched yesterday. They have already reached Bagdogra over the night. They will proceed to Gangtok as soon as the road communication is restored. Chief Secretaries of West Bengal and Sikkim have been advised to take particular care to regulate and prioritize the movement of traffic on the road to avoid blockade due to sudden rush of vehicles, and to ensure that essential manpower, equipment and supplies required for relief and rescue work is able to get through first.

  11. Although Chief Secretary, Sikkim has informed that there is no shortage of essential commodities, which is also corroborated by Secretary, M/o Food and Consumer Affairs, and M/o Petroleum & Natural Gas, instructions have been issued to preposition enough quantity of essential commodities particularly diesel and LPG, and despatch the same to affected areas, as soon as the roads are opened. Kerosene stock is available in Sikkim for 36 days, while availability of LPG is limited to 4 days.

  12. Chief Secretary, Sikkim has been advised to open community shelters and feeding centres in inaccessible pockets. At present, 1500 persons have taken shelter in Army camps and 10 langars are being run to feed them. Chief Secretary, West Bengal has been advised to keep enough quantity of packets of dry foods, matchboxes, candle and medicine, ready at Siliguri for air-dropping. Presently, air dropping of food packets is not possible because of adverse weather conditions/heavy rains in and around Gangtok, But Defence Secretary has been advised to drop some packets quickly, weather permitting. The weather in Sikkim continues to be inclement. As a result, sorties by helicopters have not been possible so far today. However, helicopters, including an MN-17 for air-dropping of supplies, are in readiness.

  13. Chief Secretary, Sikkim has been asked to designate one officer who would coordinate with the media. Similarly, media briefing/releases will be coordinated in Delhi by Ministry of Home Affairs.

  14. The process to assess the damage due to earthquake is continuing. Another meeting of National Crisis Management Committee under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary is scheduled to be held at 7.30 p.m. today.

AD/SKS (Release ID :76086)