Monday, August 17, 2009

Six killed in Darjeeling Hills landslides

DARJEELING: Landslides triggered by incessant overnight rain in various areas of the Darjeeling Hills claimed six lives, including that of two
children, on Sunday.
Sachin Bhujel, his wife Purnima and daughter Urvashi (8) died in the Gouri Shankar Tea Estate; Kala Sherpa, a housewife, died near Sirubari in Kurseong on Sunday.
Five-year-old Samuel Lepcha was buried under debris and died near the Nimbong Bustee, about 80 km from Kalimpong. His father Nim Thsering and mother Sukmit were badly injured and have been rushed to the sub-divisional hospital. Vijay Kumar of Pagu Tar near Mahanadi in the foothills of Darjeeling, too, died in a landslide.

Landslides hit various places in Tindharia and Ghayabari, on the National Highway-55, completely cutting off Darjeeling from Siliguri. Other routes, such as Rohini and Pankhabari in Kurseong, which connect Darjeeling with Siliguri, were also affected by landslides, completely stalling vehicular movement for the day. However, the Lopchu-Pesok and Mirik routes were not affected. As of now, they remain the only gateway to Darjeeling.

Personnel from the Natural Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been rushed to the affected spots