Relief and rescue operations conducted by the Indian Air Force in the worst-affected areas, which have been rendered inaccessible by the September 18 earthquake, near the Sikkim-Nepal border were severely affected by bad weather on Wednesday.

 Of the five sorties that had been planned, only two could be completed by helicopters of the Air Force. According to an official press release, further sorties could not be planned because of bad weather and because the valley mouths were covered with clouds. 

A tonne of relief material was carried to the zone affected by the earthquake and ten stranded persons were evacuated from the region, it added.  

Meanwhile nearly 5,500 personnel of the Army have been trudging forth in conducting rescue and relief operations.

They are working on clearing the debris and rubble from some of the worst-affected areas in Mangan, Chatten, Chungthan and Theng in North District, and on distribution of relief material and evacuation of the stranded and injured people. 

Army personnel have also been working with the authorities of the Border Roads Organisation in trying to restore road connectivity to remote areas in northern Sikkim. 

General Officer Commanding-In-Chief Eastern Command Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh has visited the affected areas in northern Sikkim to oversee the rescue operations. 

“We are providing full support to the civilian administration,” a senior Army official said, adding that it may take a month to restore connectivity to some of the areas and that several roads had been completely washed away.