Darjeeling landslide Death toll rises to 38
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The death toll has gone up to 38 in massive landslides caused by heavy rain last night in the Darjeeling district. SP, Darjeeling Amit P Javalgi said that 21 bodies have been recovered from the debris in Mirik so far.
Limugaon area is the worst affected area of Mirik. 10 dead bodies have been recovered in Kalimpong sub-division. National Disaster Response Force has been pressed into action. The rescue teams are still searching for 19 missing people. Rescue and relief operations are presently hampered due to heavy rains again.
Normal life has been adversely affected due to heavy rainfall in the entire Darjeeling hills. Several landslips were reported in Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong sub-divisions. A large number of houses were damaged and people of these areas have been evacuated and taken to safer places. Senior officers of the district administration and SSB are monitoring the situation at the landslide-affected areas. National Highway 55 connecting Siliguri with Darjeeling has also been damaged at several places. Vehicular traffic has also been badly affected due to the damage. Electricity supply and telephone networks are also affected due to the heavy rains.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced ex-gratia compensation of two lakh rupees each to families of those who lost their lives in landslides in Darjeeling district of West Bengal. The amount will be paid from Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. This amount will be in addition to the compensation of 4 lakh rupees to be given from the National Disaster Relief Fund.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to West Bengal Mamta Banerjee and assured all possible assistance from the Centre. He directed the authorities to take up the rescue and relief operations immediately. Two NDRF teams have been dispatched for rescue operations. On the instruction of the Prime Minister, a high level team headed by Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju is leaving for Kurseong and Kalimpong to take stock of the situation.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will also visit Mirik to take stock of the situation. Miss Banerjee has asked state Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee to go to the affected areas and oversee the situation. Electricity supply and telephone networks are also badly affected due to heavy rains