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Landslides kill one in hills – NH31 and NH31A blocked – Dwellings destroyed in Kalimpong q Heavy rain forecast

Posted by Ramesh Khati on July 4, 2009

People walk through the rubble even as a bulldozer tries to clear NH31 near Sevoke Kalibari on Friday.

People walk through the rubble even as a bulldozer tries to clear NH31 near Sevoke Kalibari on Friday.

Kalimpong, July 3: Heavy rain triggered landslides in different parts of Kalimpong subdivision last evening, killing one person and damaging many houses.

The worst-affected areas are Nimbong and Pabringtar gram panchayats under Block I. At Borbat in Pabringtar, G.B. Mangar, 72, was buried alive after his house was swept away by a landslide. Sixteen more houses bore the brunt of the devastation and one of them was totally destroyed. As the approach roads to the area were disrupted at many places because of the slides, help was yet to reach the affected people.

The subdivisional officer of Kalimpong, Amiyas Tshering, said the slides had affected more than a thousand people.

“Eighty-one houses have been completely destroyed and 90 partially damaged. Relief items like blankets and tarpaulin sheets and food have reached Kafer, 10km from the worst-hit Nimbong,” said Tshering.

The officer said Kalimpong town had received a rainfall of 114mm last evening.

Edwin Subba, a Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader, said over the phone from Nimbong that several affected families had been shifted to the Borbat Primary School.

Apart from houses, farmlands were also destroyed by the landslides. “Maize, ginger and cardamom have been completely or partially destroyed at many places,” said Subba.

In Kalimpong town, a woman, Manlachi Rai, had a lucky escape when a huge boulder came hurtling down the hillside and smashed into the living room of her house at 8 Mile below Mintri Petrol Pump. Rai, who lives alone, was sleeping in the adjoining bedroom when the incident occurred.

It was only yesterday that MP Jaswant Singh wrote to the Union minister for mines and Northeast region, B. K. Handique, urging him to set up the National Centre for Landslides Research Studies and Management in Darjeeling.

Source:The Telegraph

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