Incessant rainfall since last night triggered landslides at different places in the Hills and left several areas in the plains water-logged.
Landslides hit arterial roads and highways, mainly severing road links between Siliguri in the plains and the Himalayan state of Sikkim, and Kalimpong district. A major landslide occurred at Sethijohra, around 40 km from Kalimpong, where about 100 metres of National Highway10 has collapsed.
Sources said it will take some days for this road stretch to be repaired for normal traffic. The road was blocked for more than 12 hours yesterday too, following a landslide at 29th Mile, around 17 km from Kalimpong. Landslides also hit the same highway near Kali Mandir at Sevoke near Siliguri.
“Due to the extensive damage caused to NH-10, movement of goods vehicle between Siliguri and Kalimpong/Sikkim has been affected. Small vehicles are diverted through different routes through Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts,” a senior police officer in Kalimpong said.
“As an emergency measure, heavy goods-carrying vehicle below 10 ton will be diverted through the Coronation BridgeDamdim Morh-Gorubatan- Lava route onward to Kalimpong or Rangpo (via Bhalu Marg) and back,” he added.
In Darjeeling, though no major landslide or casualties were reported anywhere, small landslips have affected some houses and blocked small roads, it is learnt.
At the Eden compound in Darjeeling town, locals said a landslide has put some houses art risk, prompting their occupants to shift to safer places. Small landslides were also reported in other places like Reeshiat.
Among the roads damaged include the one from Singtom to Madura, which has been blocked by debris falling on it.
The rainfall, accompanied by gusts of wind, since 21 September, affected normal life in the hills, including the Kurseong area. However, except for a landslide near Mithaidara in Tindharia under the Kurseong sub-division, no major damage or casualty have been reported so far, sources said.
Down in the plains, the rainfall led to water-logging in several areas in Siliguri.
Wards like 6, 24, 31, 38 and 39, and areas in Champasari were water-logged today, while life came to a grinding halt, with many people stuck at homes. People had to wade through knee-deep waters and waistdeep in some areas.
According to the irrigation and waterways department, Siliguri received 130 mm of rainfall in the past 24 hours. The rainfall also led to rise in the water level in the Mahananda river.
Many agricultural fields in the rural suburbs were inundated, while some areas in blocks under the Siliguri SubDivision were under water.
Chairperson of the board of administrators at the Siliguri Municipal Corporation, Asok Bhattacharya, visited the areas, including wards 6, Bidhan Market, and Haider Para, to take stock of the situation. Officials said that the civic body pressed into service all three water pumping machines to flush out water from low-lying areas.
Sources said teams at the corporation level had been formed to check the areas where culverts in low-lying areas had been erected, as they were known to contribute to the water-logging problem.
(With inputs from Darjeeling and Kurseong)