Deadly landslides have claimed the lives of about 30 people in the hills of Darjeeling in West Bengal since last night, according to an announcement from an Indian Services Selection Board (SSB) officer on Wednesday.
More than 25 landslides were triggered by heavy rainfall in the Mirik, Kalimpong and Kurseong subdivisions of Darjeeling town.
In the hamlet of Lava in Kalimpong, nine students were killed in the landslides while three were killed in the hamlet of Mahindra and two in the hamlet of Thana Line, according to reports from local media.
Fourteen others lost their lives in Tingling Limbu after their homes were washed away by the landslides.
Darjeeling District Magistrate Anurag Srivastava said that 12 people are still missing after landslides at the 8 Mile and 11 Mile districts of Kalimpong, according to the Indo-Asian News Service.
"Twelve persons are still missing. The toll may go further up as we are yet to receive information from a number of areas," Srivastava said.
People injured by the landslides have been hospitalised in Mirik, with rescue operations ongoing in the areas badly affected by the disaster.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on her twitter account on Wednesday that she would visit the areas of Darjeeling town affected by the landslide at the first opportunity.
Tuesday’s massive rainfall also caused many landslides in the Kurseong and Sukna subdivisions of the district.
Many roads in the landslide affected district were destroyed. Rakti bridge, connecting Mirik with Siliguri, was also demolished in the disaster. Destruction of the bridge cut off all access from Sukna to Siliguri.
"With boulders and rocks covering the main road in Kurseong, at Khahare Khola, the access to Siliguri Via NH 55 is cut off," The Darjeeling Chronicle reported.