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Rediff.com  » News » Rescue teams, doctors yet to reach Sikkim's quake-hit areas

Rescue teams, doctors yet to reach Sikkim's quake-hit areas

September 19, 2011 12:52 IST

Around 400 personnel of National Disaster Response Force and a team of 20 doctors, sent to Sikkim for rescue and relief operations, have not been able to yet reach the quake-hit areas due to blockade of roads following landslides, officials said on Monday.

Five teams of NDRF consisting of 203 personnel along with necessary rescue equipment, who have been dispatched from Delhi, reached Bagdogra in West Bengal on Monday morning, they said.

"They are still held up at the transit camp in Bagdogra due to landslides which have blocked roads at various places along the highway," a Home Ministry spokesperson said.

Another five teams of NDRF consisting of 200 personnel have left Kolkata. Of them, 100 personnel have arrived at Bagdogra while another 100 personnel were expected to land there shortly.

Officials said over 700 personnel of Indo-Tibetan Border Police were already engaged in rescue and relief operations in Sikkim.

A medical team comprising four surgeons, seven orthopaedics, five anaesthetists, two neuro-surgeons and two other specialists which has been sent for Sikkim from Delhi reached Bagdogra on Monday morning.

They too have not been able to reach the affected areas and are held up at Bagdogra due to landslide causing road blockage, officials said.

As per official information received by the Home Ministry, 14 people have lost their lives and 94 others have been injured in the quake. Sikkim has officially reported seven deaths and 64 injured, Bihar has reported two deaths, West Bengal five deaths and 29 injured while one person has been injured in Assam.

"The state governments are ascertaining the extent of damage," the spokesperson said. (More)

Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur and Mizoram have been affected by the 6.8 magnitude tremblor.

The Border Roads Organisation has conveyed that there have been 16 landslides on a stretch of 10 km in Sikkim and efforts were on to clear the roads.

"The situation is being closely monitored and every possible assistance is being extended to the state governments," the spokesman said.

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