Flash Flood In Sikkim, 2023

At least 40 people were killed in the flash flood in Sikkim and According to the Disaster Management Authority for the Sikkim State ( or Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority, nearly 2011 persons have been rescued since the disaster’s outbreak in North Sikkim due to the flash flood.

As per various media reports, 14 people died and around 104 are reported to be missing. The Teesta River overflowed and created a flood-like situation. As per the report, it was a kind of Flash flood and brought devastation in Sikkim along the Teesta River. The widespread damage caused by flash floods would take lots of effort to bring normalcy to the state. Heavy rainfall on 4 October 2023, led to the development of a lake on the Lhonak glacier in northern Sikkim, India.

The high water level breaches the shores of the lake and causes an outburst of flood. The overflow of the water reached the Teesta III Dam lactated at Chungthang at midnight and destroyed the dam in minutes. The flood was so intense that it destroyed the dam before its gates could be opened. As per the report of Down to Earth magazine the size of the

Scientific Study and Warning about a Flash Flood in Sikkim:

A detailed study of the region was carried out by the scientists and they have published a paper titled “Future Glacial Lake Outburst Flood -(GLOF) -a hazard of the South Lhonak Lake, Sikkim, Himalaya” which highlighted the hazardous potential associated with South Lhonak Lake. It has also been noted that due to glacial retreat, the Lhonak Lake witnessed a significant increase in the size of the lake in the past decades. Hence, the chances of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) have increased multifold.

Flash Flood in Sikkim, India  2023
Image Source: Google Map

As per the study, it is also noted that “The size of the South Lhonak lake during the 1960s was comparatively small and since 1960 it has witnessed growth many folds. A total of 14 potentially dangerous lakes were identified as susceptible It has been one of the fastest-growing lakes out of 14 potentially dangerous lakes susceptible to Glacial Lakes Outburst Floods -(GLOFs) – in the Sikkim Himalaya region.

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