Landslides in Darjeeling–Kalimpong hills due to heavy rain; tourists stranded

One person died in Kalimpong on Tuesday when the vehicle he was driving fell down from a cliff after being hit by an uprooted tree during a landslide and two persons were killed in Sikkim on Monday when their car was hit by boulders
Darjeeling district magistrate said there have been many landslides but no reports of loss of human lives so far. (AFP Photo/File/Representative use)
Darjeeling district magistrate said there have been many landslides but no reports of loss of human lives so far. (AFP Photo/File/Representative use)
Updated on Oct 20, 2021 10:55 AM IST
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ByHT Correspondents

Heavy rain continued to batter the hilly regions of Darjeeling and Kalimpong in North Bengal and neighbouring Sikkim, triggering landslides at multiple places and leaving tourists stranded. While at least three people were killed till Tuesday night, there were no fresh reports of any casualties on Wednesday morning, officials said.

The National Highway 10, which connects Sikkim with West Bengal and the rest of the country, remained virtually cut off as landslides were reported from several points. “In the last 24 hours, Darjeeling received around 233mm rain, while Kalimpong received around 199mm rain. Jalpaiguri and Siliguri at the foothills in north Bengal received around 151mm and 195mm rain during the same period,” said an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official in Kolkata.

The intensity of the rains in south Bengal has come down. Coastal areas such as Canning, Haldia and Digha received more than 100mm rain on Monday. In the last 24 hours, the amount of rain dropped to less than 25mm. Kolkata received just around 6.3mm rain.

“There have been many landslides. So far there are no reports of loss of human lives,” said S Poonambalam, district magistrate of Darjeeling.

One person died in Kalimpong on Tuesday when the vehicle he was driving fell down from a cliff after being hit by an uprooted tree during a landslide. Two persons were killed in Sikkim on Monday when their car was hit by boulders.

Also Read: Monsoon is over. But why is it raining so much in October? Here’s the answer

Roads in Kalimpong, Kurseong, and Darjeeling were badly hit. The road connecting Kalimpong via Lava was closed at several places towards Kalimpong and Gorubathan. The administration has issued an advisory saying the only route which seems to be motorable was via Ghoom and Kurseong.

Hundreds of tourists and their vehicles were stranded at Lava in Kalimpong district. In Kurseong and Sikkim several houses were badly damaged due to the incessant rains and landslides. The additional support pillars of Rangpo Bridge connecting Sikkim with West Bengal are severely damaged.

“We are trying to restore the roads for at least smaller vehicles by Wednesday afternoon. For heavy vehicles to pass through, it would take time,” said Subodh Chettri, an executive engineer in Darjeeling.

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Saturday, December 04, 2021