An avalanche struck Nathu La border area in Sikkim on Tuesday afternoon, leaving at least seven people dead and a dozen injured. The incident occurred at around 12:15 pm when the avalanche hit the 14th Jawaharlal Nehru Road connecting Gangtok to Nathu La pass, trapping 25-30 tourists under the snow. Rescue operations were immediately initiated, and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has so far rescued 22 tourists, including six from a deep valley.
One lady was rescued after being buried under snow for 1.5 hours and has been shifted to the STNM Hospital in Gangtok for treatment. Unfortunately, several others are still feared trapped under the snow. About 350 tourists are stranded in the area, and 80 vehicles have been rescued after snow clearance from the road. Nathu La Pass, known for its scenic beauty, is a major tourist destination situated on the border with China.
The BRO has been working tirelessly to clear the snow and rescue those trapped. The Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have also joined the rescue efforts. The injured have been shifted to nearby hospitals, and their condition is being closely monitored.
The incident has caused concern among locals and tourists alike. The area has been receiving heavy snowfall in the last few days, and the authorities had warned of possible avalanches. The Nathu La Pass is a popular destination, and tourists from all over the world visit the area to witness its natural beauty. The incident has raised concerns about safety measures and the need to be more vigilant during adverse weather conditions.