14 dead as rains lash Darjeeling

  • Agence France-Presse, PTI, Kolkata
  • |
  • Updated: Jul 09, 2003 09:51 IST
Fourteen people were killed on Tuesday, including 11 in a landslide, when heavy rains lashed Darjeeling, police said.

The landslides follow weeks of rain and floods that have killed at least 85 people and left 1.4 million homeless in eastern India and Bangladesh.

"Eleven people were killed and five houses destroyed in the landslides, which were caused by heavy rainfall in the hills over the past few days," said Chayan Mukherjee, inspector general of police for West Bengal state.

"The bodies of the victims were found under the rubble," he told AFP.

Mukherjee said the landslides in the hamlets of Gayabari and Dakhle cut off road links between the metropolis of Calcutta and Darjeeling, 700 kilometers (435 miles) to the north.

"Efforts are being made to clear the roads," he said.

The other three victims, including a girl, were swept away by flood waters.

"Thousands of people have been marooned by flood waters in villages in Jalpaiguri and Duars areas. Two people were drowned in Raiduk river and a teenaged girl swept away by floods in a village in Duars," said Darjeeling district police chief Sanjoy Chander.

The British set up Darjeeling as a resort for troops and officers in the 19th century when they ruled India from Kolkata. The hillside town remains a popular destination for those who want to escape lowland India's gruelling summer heat.


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