Friday, June 8, 2012

One day after the monsoons arrive, 7 deaths in Sikkim

07Jun2012, Gangtok (Sikkim)
Seven persons including four from the same family were buried alive when a landslide and flashflood triggered by rainstorms struck their houses at Rolep, 16 km from Rongli in East Sikkim early Thursday morning. The incident took place at around 4.30 a.m. The mudslide triggered by a flash flood swept away a sleeping Mehang Rai, a class 5 student from his house in Rolep. Being situated on the upper reaches of the slide-hit area, Mehang’s house was first one to be washed away, reports reaching the state capital said. The landslide also buried alive four members of the same family, all of whom reportedly died in the sleep. The victims have been identified as Birman Rai (60), his wife Mani Maya Rai (49), daughter Tika Devi Rai (14) and son Suman Rai (10).

excerpt from North East Today

Comment by Praful Rao
The monsoons withdrew soon after the 6.9R earthquake which rattled Sikkim and north Bengal on 18Sep2011 as such the rains of this year will be the first major bout of precipitation that will be hitting  the mountains of the Darjeeling-Sikkim Himalaya.
May2012 has seen a largely deficient rainfall scenario in this region (see here) and thus far monsoon activity in this area has been rather weak. As such it surprising that with the 10 odd days of rainfall, there has been quite a few landslides in North Sikkim and 7 fatalities in East Sikkim yesterday.
Rainfall data from Tadong (below Gangtok) for 07/08Jun2012 has been 50mm and 126mm respectively and for Gangtok for the same dates has been 44mm/112mm respectively.

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