Below are some updated news reports since 7:30am IST, Sept 21st.
People sift through the rubble of a church, which was destroyed by Sunday’s 6.9 magnitude earthquake, at Rangrang village north of the northeastern Indian city of Gangtok September 20.
The spokesman for Teesta Urja Limited, which runs the power plant, told the BBC that as well as those killed one worker was missing and 10 others were injured. About 1,000 people work at the plant.
He said that the victims were returning to the plant after their shift when they were hit by rocks falling from mountain roads which surround the plant.
“We are trying to ascertain the number of people who are missing, but it is difficult because some local workers have returned home after the quake,” Teesta Urja executive PP Baby told the AP news agency.
In Lalchung, injured and stranded passengers of a bus were rescued in an army helicopter in a daring operation as there was no place to land.
Two Brigadiers jumped down nearly seven to 10 feet from the chopper to make for the passengers, one of whom was seriously injured while another had died. The passengers were helped into the hovering aircraft.
Accompanied by Minister of State for Home Affairs Jitendra Singh, the young MP conducted an aerial survey of the quake affected areas. Later he took the road route to meet the quake victims.
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling on Wednesday said that the relief and rescue operation in the earthquake-affected parts of Sikkim will be completed in the next two to three days.
As the extent of damage caused by the quake unfolded gradually, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling again on Tuesday to assure him the Centre would do everything needed to deal with the situation.
He also called a meeting of the cabinet committee on political affairs to discuss ways to help the state, PMO sources said.
…two rescue teams from the army had “air dropped” in Sikkim and a team of 10 doctors from Delhi had reached the spot.
The Army has deployed nearly 5,500 personnel drawn from all across Sikkim and adjoining regions under the Eastern Command in the rescue and relief work in the Himalayan state.
GoC-in-C Eastern Command Lt Gen Bikram Singh visited several ‘quake-hit areas in North Sikkim, including Chatten, Mangan, Tung, Chungthang and Gangtok, to survey the damage, besides taking stock of the Army’s rescue and relief operations since Sunday night.
“Nine villages are still totally inaccessible,” he said.
Though the road from the Sikkim capital to Mangan, the epicentre of the quake located 55 km from here, has been reopened, roads further north are still closed owing to landslides from Mangan to Chungthang.
According to reports, there is still no trace of 120 residents of Bay village in North Sikkim, located between Lachung and Chungthang, after Sunday’s powerful quake even as a flash flood at Lachung poses a fresh threat of landslides.
“We find no trace as yet of 120 people living in 14 huts at Bay village as the area is totally devastated. There is a lot of debris … and the residents have gone missing,” National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team in-charge Nisith Upadhyay said.
He said four NDRF teams have fanned out to worst-hit Lingu, Sakyang, Pentong and Bay villages in North Sikkim which have been rendered almost inaccessible after the quake.
“We are afraid some bodies may have been trapped under the flattened houses as boulders are lying strewn all over,” he added. According to S.R. Bhutia, Deputy Director of Horticultural Society of Sikkim, who led the four teams, ‘we haven’t found any person in the village. We are searching for them’.