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Incessant rain causes spate of landslides in Hills, 2 killed

Incessant rain causes spate of landslides in Hills, 2 killed

Darjeeling: Incessant rainfall in the Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hills has triggered numerous landslides, leading to the death of two persons in Pubung in Darjeeling. A number of houses have been damaged as well.

At around 2 am on Monday, a landslide occurred at Chataidhuta near Pubung Fatak in Sukhia block, where the house of one Kumar Lopchan was washed away and buried under the debris.

"Police along with fire brigade rushed to the spot. Lopchan (60 years) and his wife Bal Kumari Lopchan (55 years) were dug out and rushed to the Darjeeling Sadar Hospital at around 4am. The hospital doctor declared both brought dead," stated Mingma Lepcha, OC, Jorebungalow police station.

Lopchan's daughter Chetna Lopchan works in the police department, while his son Chetan Lopchan works in Sikkim.

"We have distributed necessary relief material including tarpaulins. The Block Development Officer is keeping a close tab. We are constantly monitoring the situation. A coordination meeting of the line departments has been held and a helpline has been started. In case of any emergency, one can call at 0354-2255749," stated Deepap Priya P, District Magistrate, Darjeeling.

The victims of the landslide will be given ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh as per government norms. GTA chairman Anit Thapa visited the affected spots and families on Monday and assured of all requisite help from GTA.

There have been reports of numerous landslides in Kalimpong as well, namely from Coronation Bridge (on the way to Malbazar) and Setijhora area. Single lane traffic has been plying on this part of the National Highway.

Trees were uprooted in different parts of Kalimping blocking roads and damaging houses. The house of Bishnu Maya Sherpa was damaged when a tree crashed on it at Goshkhan Line in Lava. She, however, escaped unhurt. The house of one Sabir Rai was wrecked in a landslide in ward number 4 in the Kalimpong Municipal area. Kalimpong has been allotted the emergency control room number 03552-256353.

The IMD has stated in a weather bulletin: "Due to presence of low pressure area over Uttar Pradesh and adjoining Bihar with strong moisture incursion from bay of Bengal, enhanced rainfall activity is likely to continue over the districts of North Bengal during July 8-12."

The IMD has issued a red warning (very heavy rainfall) for Darjeeling area for July 9 and 10 and yellow warning (heavy rainfall) for July 11 and 12.

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