Scores of people die with over 80 missing in Sikkim disaster

Sikkim. Photo courtesy: UNI


Gangtok/IBNS: The October 4 disaster in Sikkim as a result of overflow of South Lhonak Lake, killed scores of people.

This is being closely monitored with the help of different satellite data, a Sikkim government communique said on Monday.

“As per the interpretation of the available images (Sentinel 2: 6” October 2023, 4.36 pm), the Department of Science and Technology (state), has preliminarily inferred that there has been a detachment of the side wall (north west side) of the lateral moraine (rocks and debris) of the South Lhonak Lake (North Sikkim), measuring approximately 600m length x 225m height x 150m width from the surface level of the lake.

“As per the data available, the moraine eventually plunged into the lake,” the communique said.

The detached moraine fell and pushed into the deepest portion of the lake resulting in overflow of a large volume of water from the outlet, which led to widening and deepening at the outlet of the lake and flooding the mighty Teesta river.

The image also depicted the decrease in water level of the lake as a large volume of water has spilled over.

The area of the lake has decreased from 162 hectare to 144 hectare. However, during this entire sequence of events, it has been observed as per the data available that the main moraine damming the lake, remains in its original position and shape, the statement added.