Sikkim Earthquake: 3,000 people in quake-hit areas rescued

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New Delhi: The defence forces have rescued more than 3,000 people in the quake-hit areas of Sikkim using helicopters, heavy lift transport aircraft and infantry troops. Efforts have also been intensified to extricate people trapped under the debris of collapsed structures.

IAF has airlifted more than 500 troops there, including the medical and engineering teams and is conducting sorties of heavy lift transport aircraft and choppers from Delhi, Chandigarh, Kolkata and Bagdogra to ferry troops and ensure supply of medicines and food.

“There are eight to 13 helicopters which have been pressed into service in conjunction with the Air Force. 35 heavy engineering plant equipments have been deployed to restore roads and communication lines,” Deputy Director General of Military Operations, Brigadier Ranbir Singh, said here.

Rescue efforts are being carried on in 62 villages. About 20 medical centers have been set, wherein over 370 people have been treated. Eight relief centers have also been established where over 2,700 people have been provided shelter, Singh said.

On rescue efforts in Mangan- epicenter of the quake which hit Sikkim on Sunday, he said, “281 troops have reached Mangan, including four medical and two engineering teams. A relief camp has been established there and communication teams are working to establish telephone lines.” The aircraft deployed includes two newly inducted heavy weight C-130 J, which airlifted more than 200 personnel of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to Kolkata.

Also, 20 medical centers have been set up in the quake-affected areas in Sikkim and 11 cook houses to provide relief.