Death toll climbs to 71 in Sikkim quake.

Sikkim quakeGangtok: Rescue workers in Sikkim are struggling to reach victims of Sunday’s powerful earthquake. Although the tremors were felt during Monday in Sikkim and Darjeeling as the death toll in India, Nepal and Tibet climbed to 71.

The toll in north Sikkim, the epicentre of the quake, rose to 41 on Monday and many more were feared dead under the waste of buildings and houses.

Nine deaths were reported from West Bengal and seven each from Bihar, Nepal and Tibet, bringing the toll outside Sikkim to 30 as rescue teams battled landslides and torrential rains to help the victims.

Sikkim chief minister Pawan Kumar Chamling said that “The national highway and state highways, all district link roads and interior roads, bridges, canals, hospitals and office buildings have been badly affected. Electricity transmission lines and water supply have also suffered major damages.”

There were reports of some landslides on National Highway 31A, the only road connecting Sikkim with the rest of the country. But, the Border Roads Organisation managed to open the highway for one-way traffic in the evening.

Four hundred members of the National Disaster Relief Force and 20 doctors were trapped in Bagdogra as of bad weather and were expected to reach Gangtok on Monday night.

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