Darjeeling landslide: Rescue operations underway

Siliguri/Kolkata, July 2 (IANS) Rescue and relief operations continued in full swing in the landslide-wrecked Darjeeling hills of West Bengal on Thursday with at least 12 people still missing, officials said.

The state administration has confirmed recovering 30 bodies so far from the landslides triggered by incessant rainfall since Tuesday.

Besides the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), personnel from the state disaster management and administration are working at a war footing to rescue and provide relief to the affected.

As per our estimates, at least 12 people are still missing and are feared to be dead.

“The rescue operations are continuing on full swing but as of now we have not found any more bodies. Till Wednesday, 30 bodies were recovered,” district disaster management official Anindya Sarkar said.

However, SSB sources claimed the missing figure to be in excess of 20.

Meanwhile, a fresh landslide near Gayabari has put in uncertainty West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s scheduled visit to Mirik — the worst affected area accounting for 22 deaths alone.

Banerjee reached New Jalpaiguri on Wednesday night to supervise the relief and rescue work.

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju is also in the region to take stock of the situation.

Many of the survivors put up in the relief shelters complained of lack of drinking water and food.

The met department has forecast widespread and heavy rainfall to continue in the region for the next 48 hours.

Large parts of Jalpaiguri district are already submerged affecting over 5,000 people. The administration has issued a red alert with rivers flowing over the danger mark.

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