Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Darjeeling: Landslide toll mounts upto 42; 16 persons missing

One more body was found on Monday night in the landslide-battered Darjeeling district, taking the toll to 42.

The search operation was on to recover more missing persons by Army, NDRF, SSB and other rescue teams.

Meanwhile, preliminary repair work was going on along those parts of the three national highways where damage by landslides was comparatively light, according to Public Works Department sources.

Rescue operations were underway in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong sub divisions, where multiple landslides had also washed away highways and damaged homes.

Darjeeling District Magistrate Anurag Srivastava said the landslide-affected people were put up in camps and three such camps were set up in Mirik where 200-250 families have been sheltered.

National Disaster Response Team, Civil Defence personnel and local volunteers were engaged in the rescue work.

Rescue teams from the Sashastra Seema Bal and the National Disaster Management Authority have also been pressed into service.

Though it was not raining on Friday, the sky was overcast.

Rescue was hampered at Mirik on Thursday evening due to a downpour.

The DM said the roads where minor landslips occurred have been cleared while the ones with major landslides, like Siliguri-Kalimpong route, will take some time.

The landslides had caused extensive damage to NH-10 and NH-55, cutting off vital road links to the region.

Toy train services between Darjeeling and New Jalpaiguri also remained suspended following damage to the tracks.

Boulders had rolled down on the tracks at Nimkidara, 2 km from Darjeeling, Darjeeling Station Manager Suman Pradhan said.

Even after the boulders could be removed, tracks were found to be damaged leading to the suspension of the toy train service, he said.

The chief minister on Thursday visited areas in Mirik which were worst affected by landslides, met families of the victims and distributed relief and cheques.

Banerjee reached the affected area taking a detour as the road was damaged by landslides.

Rijiju visited relief camps in Tingling area besides meeting the injured in hospitals.

Tuesday 7 July 2015



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