An earthquake of magnitude 6.9 (Mw) centered within the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area of Sikkim occurred on Sunday, 18 September 2011. Several buildings collapsed and many more government offices and hospitals were left unusable in Gangtok. The heavy tremors destroyed the villages of Lingzya, Sakyong, Pentong, Bay and Tholong. AmeriCares India team consisting of Dr Shital Raval-Patel and Chandrakant Deshpande responded to the disaster when the basic roads finally cleared up.
After the earthquake, villages were cut off due to blocked roads and people were trapped and isolated without basic access to food, water, electricity, medical help. Diarrheal diseases were on a high in all parts of Sikkim since water pipelines were broken and no clean drinking water was available.
AmeriCares India established a network with local stake holders and NGOs in Sikkim. Our team commenced providing aid in both Gangtok and Mangam (the worst affected areas). This included vital water purification tablets, medicines and nutritional supplements.
With the help of a local Ngo, the AmeriCares India team visited the village of Dikchu, Lachung and a Relief Camp in Merrung where the villagers were camped out in a local school. In totality, AmeriCares India provided water purification tablets to more than 6000 families in the North, West and South of Sikkim. Food, food supplements and medicines worth 35 lakh rupees donated by Glaxo Smith-Kline were distributed to local partners and NGOs for all the affected areas reaching over 50,000 people.