Thousands evacuating after massive landslide creates a dam on Kanka river in Sikkim, India

Thousands evacuating after massive landslide creates a dam on Kanka river in Sikkim, India

A massive landslide occurred at Dzongu, northern Sikkim, India on Saturday, August 13, 2016, dumping tons of debris on Kanka river, a tributary of the Teesta river, thus blocking the river and creating a dangerous 46 meters (150 feet) wide dam.

As of early Sunday, August 14, the water is still rising and the dam may break at any time, releasing a huge amount of water into the Teesta and flooding settlements. Thousands of homes near Rongpo on the Bengal-Sikkim border are at risk. An alert has been sounded in the low-lying areas on both sides of the border and entire villages are being evacuated, The Times of India reports.

The Kanka bridge is already submerged and about 300 meters (1 000 feet) of road washed away. Five houses of the nearby Mentam village were immediately submerged.

An official said once the dam starts leaking, the thousands of residents of Teesta Bazaar and 29 Mile will have barely three to three-and-a-half hours to get to safety. Evacuating these densely populated areas will be a logistical nightmare.

So far, there are no human deaths or injuries.

Featured image credit: Google

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