Gangtok, June 18 -- In its second day of rescue operation, the Sikkim administration on Tuesday evacuated 1,225 tourists from Lachung and nearby areas of Mangan district which was hit by a series of landslides and rain last week leaving at least six people dead, an official said.

The evacuation of the remaining tourists, said to be a few hundreds, will be carried out on Wednesday if the weather permits as six helicopters are on standby at Bagdogra airport in neighbouring West Bengal, Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Vishnu Lama said. The administration had rescued 64 tourists on Monday and brought them safely to the district headquarters Mangan. "We have evacuated a total of 1225 tourists from Lachung and surrounding regions and brought them to Mangan town by road today," Lama said.

Mangan district is known for popular tourist spots like Gurudongmar Lake and Yunthang Valley. With vehicles provided by the Motor Vehicle Division of the Transport department, the rescued people reached the state capital Gangtok from Mangan town and began their onward journey to their respective destinations, the ADM said. The district administration is ready to remain vigilant and prepared to cater to the needs of the remaining tourists and deal with any challenges, the official said. District Magistrate Hem Kumar Chettri is himself supervising the evacuation of the stranded tourists. Nearly 50 people were killed in the flash flood that hit the same district in October last year.

Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from Millennium Post.