Rain causes slides, halts traffic
Southwest monsoon active over Bengal and neighbouring Sikkim brought in fresh bouts of downpour in most districts of north Bengal on Monday night and continued till Tuesday afternoon, triggering landslides in hills and flooding some areas of the plains.
In the hills, a major landslide occurred on 29th Mile on NH10 on Tuesday morning, and halted traffic from Siliguri to Kalimpong and Sikkim for over 10 hours.
Hundreds of vehicles queued up on both sides of the damaged stretch, as excavators and workers cleared debris that piled on the principal highway that connects Sikkim with the rest of the country.
Around 3.30pm, the road was cleared and vehicles started moving, but in a single file.
“If it does not rain any more, it would be easier to clear the entire road on Wednesday. Otherwise, there is always the fear of fresh landslides,” said an official of Kalimpong district administration.
A number of minor landslides were reported from different areas of Darjeeling town, where it rained around 130mm in the past 24 hours till Tuesday morning, and in Bijanbari. Similar land-slips have also been reported in some roads of Sikkim.
No injury or casualty has been reported so far.
Incessant rain submerged around 60 per cent of Englishbazar municipality in Malda on Tuesday. Most major roads went under water.
Weather experts hinted at similar rainfall during the next couple of days in some parts of the region, 70mm to 200mm.