At least 30 people were killed in landslides triggered by heavy rainfall in West Bengal's Darjeeling district early on Wednesday even as more reports of major damages were pouring in.
The incessant rainfall that hit the district on Tuesday night triggered major landslides all across the hills and swept away many houses when people were deep in their sleep. Kalimpong alone received more than 200mm of rainfall.
At least 19 people were killed after their houses were swept away by the landslides at Tingling Tea Garden under Mirik block of Kurseong sub-division. In Kalimpong sub-division, at least seven persons are believed to be dead.
Authorities said while seven houses were swept away at Tingling's Limbudhura, three people were killed when their house came under the mud at Mahindragaon in Mirik and two people were killed at Thana Line.
"Seven, five and one bodies have been recovered from Mirik, Kalimpong and Sukhiapokhari respectively and 10 people are still missing in Mirik," said Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastava.
Roshan Thapa, a local resident engaged in rescue operation, said many bodies are yet to be recovered.
The landslides have also damaged many roads all across the district and the Rakti bridge connecting Mirik with Siliguri has been swept away by the flood near Simulbari.
"Roads have been damaged at several places and we are moving earth removing equipment to the affected areas. We are also seeking the army's help to restore road connectivity that has been severed at many places in the district," said Srivastava.
Border Roads Organisation's chief engineer SS Porwal said strategic National Highway 10, which connects Sikkim with the rest of the country, has been hit by further landslides at Sethijhora under Kalimpong sub-division and is closed.
"Things are really very bad," said Porwal.