Landslides in Bengal hills kill 28

Siliguri/Kolkata (West Bengal), July 1 (IANS) The toll in landslides triggered by incessant rain in West Bengal’s Darjeeling hills has risen to 28, an official said on Wednesday.

Heavy rainfall since Tuesday triggered landslides across Darjeeling district, leaving scores of people trapped.

“So far we have recovered 28 bodies. Several others are still missing,” Darjeeling Superintendent of Police Amit Javalgi said.

According to Javalgi, 20 bodies were recovered from Mirik, six from Kalimpong and one each from Sukhiapokhri and Gorubathan areas of the district.

The landslides have snapped the hills’ link with Sikkim as the Rohini-Garidhura Bridge was washed away. National Highways No. 31 and 10 also remained blocked due to debris from landslides.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she was monitoring the situation in the Darjeeling hills and would visit the area during the day.

In Jalpaiguri district, at least 5,000 people were affected by water-logging and their misery was compounded by the release of over 5,000 cusecs of water from the Teesta barrage.

The district administration has issued a red alert over the Teesta and Torsa rivers touching danger levels.

While the Sashastra Seema Bal and Disaster Management personnel are engaged in relief and rescue operations, North Bengal Development Minister Gautam Deb said the army has been called to help in the rescue operations.

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