Showing posts with label landslide. Show all posts
Showing posts with label landslide. Show all posts

3 killed in Lodhoma Darjeeling landslide

8:06 AM
DARJEELING 20 Jul 2016 Three members of a family in Lodhoma under Darjeeling sub-division were killed this morning after their house got swept away by flowing debris triggered by a landslide. Another family escaped by a whisker but their property got destroyed completely in the incident that occurred in the wee hours.

The mishap brought back memories of the grim tragedy at Tingling in Mirik a year ago when 19 people of Limbu Gaon were killed by a landslide triggered by more than 48 hours of incessant rainfall.

The death toll in today’s landslide may have been lower, but like the Tingling incident, the houses of the two families at Fenchaytar Village in Gairigaon under Lodhoma GP were located on a steep slope, aggravating the damage.

The Darjeeling district administration confirmed the deaths and said help and relief materials had been arranged. “Three persons died in a landslide that occurred at Fenchaytar village at four this morning. Their bodies were recovered around 5.30am and sent immediately for post-mortem to the Darjeeling district hospital. Relief materials to another family residing in the area, whose house was damaged, have been provided and they have been shifted to a relief centre nearby,” said Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastava.
3 killed in Lodhoma Darjeeling landslide
3 killed in Lodhoma Darjeeling landslide
The bodies of Mann Kumar Limbu (33), a daily wage earner, his wife Premkit (25), and son Anish (8) were recovered from under a huge pile of debris. Prima facie, it appears the three were sleeping when the killer debris covered the house and swept it away with tremendous force.

Dipen Limbu, a local resident, said, “There were only two houses where the accident occurred; the other houses are located at some distance away. We came to know about the tragedy only later. Locals searched for the bodies and found them huddled in a single room. It seems they were sleeping at the time of the landslide.”

Lok Bahadur Limbu and his family who live nearby miraculously escaped death even though half of his house was damaged by the landslide. Lok Bahadur had gone out to drink tea while his father and son were sleeping in the room that was not touched by the landslide. “Call it luck or God’s will, but Lok Bahadur and his family escaped sure death. He was outside the house while his son and father were in another room,” Dipen said.

Gorkhaland Territorial Administration chief executive and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha president Bimal Gurung reached Fenchaytar village to interact with the affected and took stock of the situation. “Our party president visited the area and talked to the affected. The GTA is planning to build a house for Lok Bahadur and relief materials have been provided to them. They will be shifted to a relief camp at the local community hall,” said Prakash Gurung, the GTA Sabahsad of the area.

Meantime, the district administration said debris and rock accumulated on various stretches of NH-10 - the arterial link that connects Sikkim with the rest of the country and part of which falls in Darjeeling district – had been cleared and vehicular movement resumed. The Darjeeling hills are witnessing heavy to very heavy rainfall over the past three-four days and the district administration is on high alert. Rainfall recorded in the past 24 hours in Darjeeling was 87.9mm while in Kalimpong it was 39.9mm, Kurseong 57.9mm and Siliguri 82.40mm.


Heavy rainfall triggered landslides in NH55 and NH10, trees uprooted, toy train held up

12:02 PM
Darjeeling Siliguri, July 4: Heavy rainfall since last night triggered landslides and brought down trees along NH55 and NH10, disrupting a toy train and road traffic for hours.

Narendra Mohan, the area officer of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, said a tree had been uprooted and fallen on tracks and NH55, which run parallel, at Rongtong. A Darjeeling-bound toy train was held up at Rongtong for more than two hours after the tree fall.

"The diesel train with 35 passengers left NJP around 8.30am. However, it had to stop at Rongtong because of the tree uprooted in the heavy rainfall. It took almost two hours to remove the tree from the tracks and the toy train resumed its journey towards Darjeeling at 3.30pm," said Mohan.

Rongtong is 20km from here.

The uprooted tree also disrupted traffic on NH55 between Gayabari and Tindharia at one end and Siliguri at the other end.

Traffic on NH10 was disrupted for five hours as heavy rain had ripped out a tree and caused a landslide. The tree fell on the highway at Labarbotay, 55km from here, while the landslide hit the road further 20km away.
Heavy rainfall triggered landslides in NH55 and NH10, trees uprooted, toy train held up
Heavy rainfall triggered landslides in NH55 and NH10, trees uprooted, toy train held up 
"It has been raining continuously since last night and this led to landslips at several spots on NH10. The two major disruptions were at Labarbotay, where a tree had fallen on the highway, and another spot 20km further uphill. Vehicles had been stuck since noon and traffic resumed when the highway was cleared at the two spots around five hours later," said a source.

The Regional Meteorological Office in Jalpaiguri said the rainfall would continue throughout sub-Himalayan Bengal for the next few days.

"The southwest monsoon has set in and is strong over the region. This is leading to consistent rainfall in the sub-Himalayan Bengal. Heavy to very heavy rain, measuring 70mm to 200mm, has been forecast in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar districts in the next 48 hours," said a Met Office source.

In 24 hours till 8.30am today, it had rained around 70mm in Darjeeling. In other areas, the rainfall ranged between 20mm and 60mm, a Met Office source said.


Sikkim -NH10 Landslide, 500 vehicles stranded as road blocked between Singtam and Ranipool

8:32 AM
Gangtok, July 1: Around 500 vehicles were left stranded after a landslide blocked traffic on NH10 between Singtam and Ranipool in East Sikkim this morning.

Administrative sources said heavy rain had triggered the landslide at 32nd Mile around 7am and the Border Roads Organisation had cleared the highway for one-way traffic in two hours.

"A portion of land above the road slipped and fell on the highway. Heavy rain had triggered the landslide," said a police source.

Although the highway was restored in two hours by the BRO, only one-way traffic was allowed as small boulders were still falling on the road.
Sikkim -NH10 Landslide, 500 vehicles stranded as road blocked between Singtam and Ranipool
Representational photo

Via telegraph

Landslide victims block road in Mirik over rehabilitation demand

10:17 PM

Those affected by the July 2015 landslide that claimed 32 lives in several parts of the Darjeeling hills today paralysed Mirik and its surrounding areas by setting up a road blockade demanding speedy rehabilitation. The victims have come together under the Tingling United Victim Rehabilitation Committee to raise their voice.
On July 1 last year, heavy landslides due to incessant rainfall caused extensive damage to life and property across the hills, with Limbu Gaon in Tingling alone registering 19 deaths. The landslide in the area displaced more than 350 households of which 150 were directly affected and required rehabilitation. It was decided that the state government and the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration would work together to rehabilitate the affected people to a tea garden nearby. The GTA has already given away the compensation it had promised to the families of the Tingling landslide victims.
However, even after six months of the tragedy, the victims are yet to be rehabilitated forcing them take the agitation path. “We were promised to be rehabilitated but that has not happened even after so many months. Now, the monsoon will set in soon and this does not augur well for us. This has left us with no options but to agitate,” said Mani Rizal, the secretary of the rehabilitation committee.
According to administrative reports, the July 1, 2015 landslides destroyed 503 houses fully and 1,414 partially in Mirik and Kalimpong. With no rehabilitation, many victims still continue to take shelter in community halls while several others have started living with their relatives. Around 500-600 people from the eight villages in Tingling squatted on the road since morning with placards in their hands. Schools and government offices remained closed and vehicular movement also came to a halt.
According to the TUVRC secretary, the management of Tingling tea garden, which is owned by the Jayshree Group, had promised to shift the workers to another plot of land in block 10 of the estate. “Earlier, the management had assured to shift us to another area of the garden and we had agreed to the proposal. But the management is going against its promise now. And it wants to know whether the state government or the GTA would provide compensation to the residents for parting with their land,” alleged Rizal.
Meanwhile, the district administration said the issue of resettlement rests with the tea garden management and the government cannot intervene in the matter. “There are two issues that need to be addressed. Firstly, to provide a house building grant to the affected and this is already in progress. The issue of resettling the affected arises next. On this count, the state government cannot impose itself on the garden management as it is an internal matter,” said Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastava.
The district magistrate maintained that the state government leases out land to gardens and it is the responsibility of the management to rehabilitate workers whenever the need arises. The government is not liable to pay compensation to garden owners, according to Srivastava. “We cannot intervene directly but the management can table a proposal saying the workers are being shifted to another plot. If the proposal meets the lease agreement, the matter can be settled with no further hiccups,” he added.
Arun Sigchi, the GTA Sabhasad from Mirik, said he would approach the tea garden management to settle the issue at the earliest. “We are sympathetically looking into this issue as it is a serious matter. We will sit for talks with the management so as to reach to a conclusion,” he said. Neither the owners nor the management of Tingling tea garden were available for comment even after repeated attempts at contacting them.

Source EOI

Driver Killed 5 Injured at 10 NH, Sikkim-Darjeeling Border

7:25 AM

Writes: Vivek Chhetri

One person died and five others were injured when huge boulders came rolling down a hill and fell on vehicles on NH10 at Bhotay Bhir, near the border with Sikkim, where the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) was carrying out road expansion work, in the early hours of today.

The five injured - all belong to one family which was on a pilgrimage to Bhutan - were struck in their SUV, almost buried under the debris, for four hours.

The slide that stretched for about 40 metres halted traffic on the highway, forcing vehicles going to and from Sikkim to take a detour via Mungsong and Kalimpong. The BRO said it was trying its best to remove the boulders and reopen the highway. However, it couldn't say when NH10 would be opened for traffic.

Apart from four vehicles, which included three trucks and the SUV, a 30-tonne BRO excavator operating at the stretch was also buried under huge piles of boulders. Bhotay Bhir is about 40km from Kalimpong, 75km from Siliguri and a short distance from Rangpo, the border town in Sikkim.

Police identified the dead as Mukesh Chhetri, 32, a truck driver who was a resident of Baikuntapally in Siliguri. He was on his way from Siliguri to Sikkim. "The five injured were occupants of the SUV, and are members of the same family. They have been admitted to a hospital in Sikkim," said a police source.

Yalmo Tamang, a resident of Majitar near Rangpo in East Sikkim, said her family, including husband Nima, daughter Sonam, son Tshering and nephew Pasang Bhutia, was travelling to Bhutan on a pilgrimage when the accident happened. "We were on a pilgrimage to Bhutan and left our home in Majitar in the wee hours and reached the spot (Bhotay Bhir) around 5pm. The back-cutting work was in progress, and a big JCB was right in front of our vehicle. We were stopped for almost 10 minutes at the site because of the work. Just when the JCB driver asked us to move forward, I heard a loud sound coming from above the road and our vehicle was hit by boulders within seconds.
"We immediately started crying out for help," she said.

However, her family had to wait for close to four hours before they were rescued by the BRO labourers. "I could see my children crying. I was scared and nervous. I thought we would die there. I felt we had to wait for eternity before some people heard our screams and rescued us after much effort. It was a horrific experience," she said.

Miraculously, Yalmo and her family have only sustained minor injuries in their hands and legs. All of them are being treated at the Central Referral Hospital in Gangtok. A BRO official said the Tamangs escaped because the groove of the JCB partly shielded the SUV from the falling boulders.

The slide is believed to have been triggered by the cutting down of the hill for road expansion.

Landslides are regular in the hills during the monsoon, but a rarity in the dry season. The BRO, which maintains NH10, has been engaged in the expansion of the highway and was working in the area as part of that exercise. The boulders came rolling down from the hill minutes after an excavator engaged in, what is called back-cutting in construction parlance in these parts, stopped work to allow the vehicles queued on either side of the road to pass through the stretch. Back-cutting is basically cutting down of a hill to flatten the place.

A BRO source, however, denied that they were working at the precise spot where the slide occurred. "Our men were working at a stretch about 15 metres from the spot towards Siliguri. One of our excavators was parked at the slide spot, and was buried under the debris," said the source.

His claim runs contrary to Yalmo's version narrated to The Telegraph.

All small vehicles bound for Sikkim and Siliguri took a detour via the Kalimpong-Munsong route. However, heavy vehicles were stuck on the highway since the alternative route is too narrow and steep, making it difficult for them to manoeuvre. "I have goods loaded in my truck and have no choice but to wait till the road is cleared of the debris and reopened. I hope the road reopens soon," said Rajen Bomzon, a truck driver bound for Sikkim.

Source Telegraph

One Dead in a Massive Landslide Near ‪Rangpo‬ Sikkim - Many Trapped

8:54 PM
A massive landslide has struck Bhoteybhir,  Darjeeling side near Rangpo.

As warned earlier by many experts that post the earthquake there would be a large possibility of landslides in the Northeast An unspecified number of people are feared either dead or buried after a large piece of rock, estimated to measure about 150 metres, broke off a hillock and crashed down on a stretch of the national highway connecting Sikkim with Bengal.

Recently an earthquake of the magnitude of 6.7 had hit the region and many experts feel that due to this the soil may have loosened in many hilly areas thereby creating a possibility of landslides.

While filing of this report one truck driver was dead and three people injured while it is suspected that three to four people are still buried under the debris.

The highway which connects Sikkim to the rest of the country is now blocked .It maybe mentioned that all movement of tourists, military and government and private vehicles will be affected  com if this highway remains blocked. Sikkim has no airport or rail connectivity, thereby cutting it off.
Massive Landslide Near ‪Rangpo‬ Sikkim
Massive Landslide Near ‪Rangpo‬ Sikkim
But there are many people who are also blaming that unscientific methods used by the BRO for widening of the highway and suspect that this could be  one of the reason there have been frequent landslides in the area.

‘Come monsoon and you will see a lot more landslides because Border Roads Organisation, is widening the roads in the area and and are using explosives  to carry out for construction ‘ says Sonam Wangmo , one of the residents of the area.

It was not possible to find out  how many vehicles or people might be buried under the landslide which took place at Bhotebhir on NH10, about 1 km from Rangpo which marks the Bengal-Sikkim border. It is 75 km from Siliguri in West Bengal.

Source: thenortheasttoday

Indian Idol Prashant Tamang Funds drive for landslide victims

1:04 PM
Siliguri, July 17: Singer Prashant Tamang, the 2007 winner of the reality show Indian Idol, will perform here tomorrow to raise funds for the Mirik landslides victims and their families.
Prashant Tamang, the 2007 winner of the reality show Indian Idol,
Prashant Tamang, the 2007 winner of the reality show Indian Idol
Amit Paul, who was the first runners-up at the show in 2007, will also perform at the show with Tamang. Parleen Singh Giri, Abhishek Kumar and Emon Chatterjee, three more artistes, will also join them at the event, which will be held in a hotel in Matigaratomorrow evening.
Entry to the event is through invitation only.

The invitees can donate any amount for the cause at the programme.
"I plan to visit Darjeeling with my friends onJuly 19. But before that, we heard about the disaster that took place in the hills. Our friend Amit, who was in Siliguri, first contacted me and said we should do something for the victims, and we could raise money for the affected residents of the hills," Tamang said.

Tamang hails from the Darjeeling hills, but is based in Mumbai at present.

Paul, who was also present at a news conference today, said: "After I spoke to my friends in Mumbai, I contacted a local person who is running an NGO. We requested him to organise an event so that we can hold a musical programme and raise some funds for the slide victims of the hills."

Binny Sharma, a Trinamul leader who is organising the event, said: "We have collected around Rs 3.51 lakh and will hand it over to the district magistrate of Darjeeling for the chief minister's relief fund. Whatever additional funds are collected during the event tomorrow will also be given to the relief fund."


GTA decides to rehabilitate landslides victims in three phases

9:51 AM
Vivek Chhetri

Darjeeling, July 9: The GTA (Gorkhaland Territorial Administration) has decided to rehabilitate landslides victims in three phases in what is expected to be one of the biggest rehabilitation processes in the hills in recent times.

Arun Sigchi, the elected GTA Sabha member from Soureni, today said: "On July 6, we held a meeting with the management of Soureni, Gayabari and Singbuli tea gardens. The management of the gardens has agreed on the need to rehabilitate those who have been affected in the landslides. We plan to undertake the process in three phases."
Despair and Worry Plagues Lower Reshap Residents - Darjeeling landslide
Despair and Worry Plagues Lower Reshap Residents - Darjeeling landslide
Those people whose houses are inhabitable will be immediately relocated to safer places in the first phase. In the second phase, those whose houses are partially damaged will be rehabilitated.

"In the third phase, we will relocate those houses which are situated on steep slopes and in vulnerable areas," said Singhi.

The GTA is also looking at using the survey report of the Geological Survey of India to finalise its long-term rehabilitation process.

Sigchi said they were looking at rehabilitating around 600-700 families only in the Mirik block. The figure is expected to touch around 900 families across the Darjeeling hills.

According to preliminary reports, property worth around Rs 27 crore has been lost in the July 1 landslide. The figure, however, does not include damage to infrastructure such as roads and bridges.

The district administration will be providing a sum of Rs 1.01 lakh each to reconstruct fully damaged houses.

"Since this amount will not be enough, the GTA will also be pooling in funds for the reconstruction of houses," said Sigchi.

The GTA today held a review meeting in Darjeeling that was chaired by Ravi Inder Singh, the principal secretary of the hill body.

At present, the GTA has cleared 40 roads leading to various villages across the hills.

Source: Telegraph

GTA Press Release on landslides in the Darjeeling hills

10:26 PM
Press Release from Gorkhaland Territorial Administration on 9th July 2015.

The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration's Chief Executive Mr Bimal Gurung is visiting all the areas affected by the landslides in Kalimpong including Todhay Tangta, Lava Lingsey, Gitadabing and Khola Khan at lava.
Bimal Gurung visiting the damaged areas during heavy rainfall on 30th june 2015 to 5th july 2015 in the hills
Bimal Gurung visiting the damaged areas during heavy rainfall on 30th june 2015 to 5th july 2015 in the hills
Principal Secretary, Dr Ravi Inder Singh chaired a high-level meeting to review the status of relief and rescue operations in areas affected by the recent landslide.

Mr Bimal Gurung , the Hon'ble CE was briefed over the phone on the extent of destruction, including the damage to infrastructure such as roads, Schools, Colleges, Government buildings and power lines by the Principal Secretary. In the meeting an overview of the status of relief operations and steps taken to ensure supply of essential commodities including food and drinking water was discussed. GTA is currently accessing the damage caused and shall be sending their report to the State and Central Government.
List of roads damage during heavy rainfall on 30th june 2015 to 5th july 2015 in the #Darjeeling hills.
List of roads damage during heavy rainfall on 30th June 2015 to 5th July 2015 in the #Darjeeling hills PART ONE
List of roads damage during heavy rainfall on 30th June 2015 to 5th July 2015 in the Darjeeling hills. PART 2

Mr Bimal Gurung, instructed top officials of the GTA to continue to work closely with the affected area to ensure that there are no bottlenecks in relief and rescue work. He also emphasized the need to document learnings from this landslide. The meeting was attended by all GTA Executive Directors, Engineers and other top officials along with Shri Trilok Dewan, MLA Darjeeling.

In the meeting a list of roads restored by the GTA was also presented.GTA in the last one week have been working round the clock and has restored nearly about 40 roads in GTA area.

Media Cell, Department of Information and Cultural Affairs, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration.

Via: Bimal Gurung Official

Notice to stop Laying Underground Cables in the Darjeeling hills

10:56 AM
Vivek Chhetri

The Darjeeling district administration has issued a notice asking telecom service providers to stop laying underground cables in the hills till the monsoon is over.
Notice asking telecom service providers to stop laying underground cables in the Darjeeling hills till the monsoon is over.
Notice asking telecom service providers to stop laying underground cables in the
Darjeeling hills till the monsoon is over.
Mirik residents have cited "shoddy" work by some firms as one of the primary reasons for landslides in the area.

Thirty-two people died in the July 1 landslides and Mirik was the worst-hit area.

Today, Darjeeling district magistrate Anurag Srivastava said: "We have asked the companies not to lay underground cables till the monsoon is over. We have also asked a company which was laying cables to stop the work immediately and clear the clogged drains."

Neelam Adhikari from Limbu Gaon, whose under-construction house was damaged in the slide, said: "The companies are continuously digging up roads. But the work is shoddy and water seeps in as the roads are not repaired properly. We strongly believe that underground cables could be a reason for the landslides."

Srivastava said officials had been asked to stop major constructions, if required, till the rains were over.

Source: Telegraph

How Bengal Government and Darjeeling Dist Administration Let People in Tingling to Die

9:37 AM
Special Report: Upendra for The Darjeeling Chronicle

When landslides happened in Tingling, the only group of people who were not shocked were the Tingling residents.

They knew this day was coming. In fact, they had known this day would come since 2011.
Following the 2011 earthquake, land had started to sink in, in Limbu Gaon Tingling. Worried over the sinking, Mr. Dipesh Thapa wrote to the district administration via the Manager of Singbully, to kindly take stock of the landslide threat posed to the village and had pleaded, "arrange us shifting to another safe place within Tingling TE (sic).” The letter dated November 30, 2011 was received by Mirik BDO and Mirik Police Station on behalf of the District Administration.
The letter dated November 30, 2011 was received by Mirik BDO
The letter dated November 30, 2011 was received by Mirik BDO
The district administration allegedly did not take any action, following which, the local people sent another letter to the North Bengal Debelopment Minister, requesting specifically, "we the residents of Tingling Limbu Gaon, under Mirik Block would like to draw your attention of your kind intervention in saving lives of villagers who are under severe threat due to unceasing landslide just below the village (sic)"
letter to the North Bengal Debelopment Minister
Letter to the North Bengal Debelopment Minister
Following this, the Mirik Block Development Office had conducted a survey and found that the threat was sever. However, the BDO Office could not act on the matter, as it required higher authorities to take the decision.

In a letter dated 18th of July 2013, which the Mirik BDO had CC:ed to 1) The District Magistrate, DMS, Darjeeling 2) The Sub-Divisional Officer, DMS, Kurseong and 3) The Executive Engineer, Irrigation and Water Ways Department, Kurseong Mirik BDO writes, "As per field enquiry it is found fact that there is a huge landslide directly affected to the above said village... it is beyond the capacity of the establishment to protect the landslide affected area as desired by the villagers. You are hereby requested to consider the matter urgently."
Letter to the  Manager of Singbully
Letter to the  Manager of Singbully
However, the district administration did not take any action, nor did the North Bengal Minister.
Despite three and a half years of head-start, the Darjeeling District Adminstration and the Bengal government failed to act on repeated pleas by the residents of Tingling, Limbu Gaon. Today the Limbu Gaon is no more, the entire village has been washed away due to the landslide of June 30th night.

It is devastating to learn that the loss of precious human life could have been averted, had the district administration and the North Bengal Minister acted on those repeated requests and desperate please sent by the residents of Limbu Gaon, 20 of who are dead today.

This is a clear case of dereliction of duty, on the part of Darjeeling District Administration and the North Bengal Minister, leading to the death of 19 individuals, which makes it a case of culpable homicide.

The State government has blood on their hands, and hence we all need to write to the Supreme Court of India to order an inquiry to ascertain the responsibilities and initiate criminal proceedings against those who have cause the willful death of our hill people.

[We are MOST THANKFUL to Voice of Mirik For Breaking this news story, and for kindly sharing these letters with us]

Via - TheDC

Darjeeling Landslide Property worth Rs 50 cr lost

11:13 AM
On July 1, landslides had hit Darjeeling, Mirik, Kalimpong and Kurseong, killing at least 40 people.
Days after multiple landslides hit Darjeeling district, authorities on Sunday said property worth at least Rs 50 crore has been damaged. This, even as the state government is still gathering data to ascertain the loss.
Landslide-hit Mirik near Siliguri.
“Considering the houses damaged in our jurisdiction, the loss has been estimated to be around Rs 20 crore. But in areas under Gorkha Territorial Administration (GTA), houses have been demolished and bridges and roads maintained by PWD washed away. Overall, the loss figure will rise significantly and easily cross the Rs 50-crore mark. One bridge built by PWD alone will cost around Rs 10 crore in repair,” Darjeeling District Magistrate Anurag Srivastava said.

On July 1, landslides had hit Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong, killing at least 40 people. Srivastava on Sunday said that while one more body was recovered, 10 people are still missing.
This comes a day after another landslide occurred near Kalijhora. But as there was no house in the area, no casualty or injury was reported.

As weather conditions have improved on Sunday after days of incessant rain, rescue work continued in full swing. Around 30 earthmovers have been engaged in removing debris. A part of the damaged NH-10 was also opened Sunday to establish a link between Kalimpong and Sikkim. PWD authorities have built a temporary bridge across Rakti river after the existing one was washed away and vehicles started plying on Sunday. Damaged roads in Kalimpong have also been restored for vehicular traffic.
Asked whether there was a chance of an outbreak of any epidemic, the DM said: “Doctors are visiting relief camps everyday. Additional toilets have been built and chlorinated drinking water is being served. Special care is being taken towards sanitation… All measures have been taken to stop an epidemic.”

“As many as 33 relief camps have been set up in the district, which are accommodating 3,100 people at present. Search operations will continue till we find the 10 people who are missing… We have been able to send relief materials to the remotest parts of the landslide-affected areas,” he added.
People who had taken shelter in the three relief camps in Tingling and Lamagaon villages following the landslides are gradually returning home, officials said. Around 200 to 250 families have been sheltered in those camps and now only those whose houses have been completely destroyed are staying in the camps.

The GTA has informed the Centre about the damages in the three hill subdivisions of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong, said Kalimpong MLA and GTA member Harkha Bahadur Chhetri. “Around 400 houses have either been damaged or destroyed in the disaster,” Chhetri said.
GTA chief Bimal Gurung had on Saturday called up Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to provide an update on the disaster. The state government is also conducting an assessment of the landslide-battered districts and the report will be sent to the Centre.

Source - Indian Express

Darjeeling disaster waiting to happen, Mamata warns against rampant construction

9:21 AM
A geophysicist has said the state government failed to implement norms prescribed by an expert committee for construction of buildings in the landslide-prone Darjeeling hills.

"Darjeeling's mountain rock is quite fragile and its compactness is low. Besides, the area receives very high rainfall and its soil has extremely low water retention ability. Under these circumstances, the landslide was always waiting to happen, especially since appropriate building norms are hardly followed," said Tapas Ghatak, a geophysicist and a former urban development official with the state government.
Ghatak said though a state-level expert committee, of which he was a member, had suggested in 2000 a number of norms for setting up houses in the hill town, they mostly remained on paper. "According to norms, there should not be any construction on land where the slope is more than 30 degrees, but one even finds massive buildings on 65 degree slopes."

Building big houses on steep slopes adds to the pressure on the land and makes the area more prone to landslides.

"If one compares point to point, then Darjeeling is no less vulnerable than Uttarakhand. Darjeeling's population density is greater, rainfall is higher and it has more rivers. The only saving grace is that Darjeeling is less vulnerable to earthquakes than Uttarakhand," he explained.

Mamata Desai of the Netaji Subhas Research Institute in Calcutta, which does research work on the environment, said: "In the 1930s, the infrastructure of Darjeeling was created for an area of five square km and meant for around 20,000 to 30,000 people."

According to her, though Darjeeling town has almost doubled and population increased six folds - actually much more if tourists are considered - there has been little augmentation of the infrastructure.

CM Mamata warns against rampant construction in Hills

After visiting the battered hills devastated by a series of landslides that killed more than 30 people,West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today warned the authorities against allowing rampant construction in the Hills.

The haphazard construction was clearly behind the landslides and the death of so many people, she said from Ground Zero.

Yesterday, CM Mamta Banerjee reached Tingling tea estate near Mirik, travelling for more than four and-a-half hours from Siliguri.

It was here that at least 21 people were buried alive by the landslips. Many are still missing.
The Chief Minister said the Geological Survey of India (GSI) would be requested to study the fragile hills and come up with suggestions.

Houses and tall buildings should not come up in an unscientific manner,’ she said, adding, ‘I have asked the authorities of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration to monitor each and every new construction.

Ms Banerjee maintained that Darjeeling’s wooden bungalows have given way to concrete high-rises and the results are there for all to see.”

The September 2011 earthquake in Sikkim and April 25, 2015 quake in Nepal that killed thousands should be an eye-opener,” she said.

The govt will take immediate steps to redress the situation, she added.

The state government would write to the Centre to send a GSI survey team to Darjeeling,†she said, demanding that the centre generously contribute towards rebuilding roads and homes.

She stressed for strict monitoring of all construction activities and said all building rules should be strictly followed. – UNI

Mamata Banerjee visits landslide-affected areas in Darjeeling

7:44 PM
Darjeeling 2nd July 2015: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claims that she traveled by road to the worst affected areas of landslide-hit Darjeeling hill where at least 38 people have been reported dead and missing . She said that it took her 6 hour to reach Mirik from Siliguri owing to the road condition caused by the landslide which would normally take one hour.
Mamta Banerjee Visits Mirik Landslide Affected Areas
Mamta Banerjee Visits Mirik Landslide Affected Areas
Mamata Banerjee  in the social media wrote
"I travelled more than six hours to reach Mirik from Siliguri to personally see the damages caused due to landslides. It was a difficult journey, especially after the fresh landslides last night.
On my way, I stopped at various relief camps to meet the landslide affected families. The largest camp is at Soureni, where more than 500 people are accommodated. I distributed compensation cheques and relief kits to the family members.
I also visited the spots where major landslides took place. Our administration is working relentlessly to extend support and assistance to the affected people and areas.
I am continuously monitoring the relief activities. 
We are with my brothers and sisters all the time."

The CM reached here last night and took updates from the local administration about the extent of rescue work in Mirik, Kalimpong and other areas in Darjeeling district.

Since Tuesday night, heavy rain triggered a string of landslides in the mountainous Darjeeling district of West Bengal, killing at least 38 people, swamping homes, washing away highways and throwing normal life out of gear.

Kalimpong landslide Six persons dead, six missing

9:16 AM
Six persons died and six went missing after heavy rains lashed Kalimpong subdivision last night and caused landslides.
The extent of damage caused by the 137mm rain, which Kalimpong received in 24 hours since 8.30am yesterday, is not yet known.

"Six persons died and another six are untraced. Of the six deaths, two are in the Kalimpong municipality area, two in block I, one each in blocks II and III," said Radhika Aiyar, the subdivisional officer of Kalimpong.

The rain triggered landslides at different places, causing widespread damage to houses, farmland and roads.

Six persons have been officially categorised as missing.

They are Ramesh Rai and Kusum Rai his wife from Nurserygaon at 7th Mile on the outskirts of the town and a four-member family from the remote Lingseykha village near the border with Sikkim.

Their names are not yet known.

The deceased include the son of the missing farmer couple, Amrit Rai, 9 who died after their house was swept away by a huge landslide when the family was sleeping.

Sanjay Gazmer, 30, and Priya Sarki, 25, died when their kutcha house came under slush during a landslide at Topkhana in the 11th Mile area of the town.

Alisha Rai, 18, of Minbusty in Gorubathan, D. Doma Sherpa, 14, from Lava village in Algarah block and Jai Prakash Rai, 60, from Paiyung village in Algarah block are also among the deceased.

Amrit Rai's elder brother, Vivek, 14, was injured in the incident, and is recovering at the Kalimpong subdivisional hospital.

Road links to many villages have been severed and acres of farmland have been destroyed.

"We are completely cut-off from the rest of the world. Please come and see our plight," said a teacher of a school in Gitdabling village, around 30km from here.

D. Nag, the block development officer of Kalimpong II, said many roads had been damaged and had cave-ins.

"Many villages in my block cannot be reached by road because of the damage caused by the landslides. We are finding it difficult to send teams to carry out damage assessment," he said.

P. K. Pal, the assistant meteorologist of the flood meteorology office in Jalpaiguri, said the amount of rain Kalimpong received in a period of 24 hours could be categorised as "very heavy".

"Yesterday, we had issued a warning for heavy rain in sub-Himalayan Bengal for the next 72 hours, but what happened last night was very heavy rain," he said over the phone.

Source: Telegraph

Darjeeling landslide death toll reached 38 - Teesta rising alarmingly

7:56 PM
38 killed in landslide in Darjeeling; PM Modi announces Rs 2 lakh compensation for victims' families

At least 38 people were killed in landslides triggered by heavy rainfall across Darjeeling district of West Bengal on Wednesday.

The water in the Teesta barrage is rising alarmingly and the administration has started the evacuation process in the adjoining areas of the river.

Following incessant rains, the Teesta river has overflowed and as many as 400 people residing in the Dhupguri and Biren basti beside the river bank, are stranded. Their mud houses have been destroyed in the flood.

Darjeeling landslide death toll reached 38 - Teesta rising alarmingly
Darjeeling landslide death toll reached 38 - Teesta rising alarmingly
While the official figure of the death toll stood at 35, more reports of deaths are pouring in.
The incessant rainfall that hit the district on Tuesday night triggered massive landslides all across the hills and swept away several houses.

Two NDRF and NDMA teams are working at the landslide site, besides the SSB and state national disaster teams.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed pain over the loss of lives and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased.

He directed Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju to go to the locations to take stock of the situation. A team from NDRF is extending all possible support, Modi said.
"Deeply pained at the loss of lives due to the landslides in Darjeeling district. Condolences to the families of the deceased," he tweeted.

"A compensation of Rs. 2 lakh from the PMNRF (Prime Minister's National Relief Fund) would be provided to the families of the deceased," he added.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that a compensation of Rs 1.25 lakh will be given to those who are injured in the landslide and a compensation of Rs 4 lakhs will be given to the family of those deceased.

The National Highway - 10 has been cut off, as a result of which hundreds of tourists are stranded at Darjeeling.

"The state administration has swung into action and the rescue operations have begun. Border force is also helping in the rescue operations. Continuous rains are stalling the rescue operations," said Binay Tamang, Morcha Leader.

On the other hand, red alert has been issued following flood-like situation at Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal.

Meanwhile, the North Bengal Development minister, Gautam Deb has said, "Our priority is to rescue people and provide them with medical aid. The biggest challenge is to get through the worse hit areas amidst the incessant rains."

Source: dnaindia

Mirik Landslide Death toll rises to 27

7:05 PM
Death toll in Mirik Landslide has reached 27, 19 from Tingling Limbudhura,3 from Mahinra Gaon,3 from Thana Line Mirik,one from Toklang, one from Seeyok and one from lower Deosay dara namely Ranjit Khapangi,husband of Mrs Sushila Thapa who died due to heart attack.
Mirik Landslide Death toll rises to  27
Dead body being pulled up by the people in Mirik from the mud - Photo- TheDC
PM Narendra Modi says that he is "Deeply saddened by Darjeeling tragedy due to landslides. Condolences to the family of deceased." He has instructed the Minister of state for home, Kiran Raju, to immediately head to Mirik and Darjeeling region to take stock of the situation and to oversee the rescue and relief efforts.The PM also announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the deceased family from the PMNRF (Prime Minister's National Relief Fund).Darjeeling MP SS Ahluwalia is accompanying Minister Raju and will be reaching Bagdogra this evening. While, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to visit Mirik today or tomorrow.

NATIONAL DISASTER RESPONSE FORCE (NDRF) TEAM,GTA team led by Bimal Gurung, local SSB officials, Maan Ghisingh GNLF president, Mirik Health department First-Aid team and HAMI organisation from Mirik are already on the field on rescue operation.

The death toll from devastating landslides across Darjeeling region have touched 35 and more than likely the toll will raise.

With inputs from VOS

Landslide kills at least 20 people in Mirik and Kalimpong.

9:38 AM
1 July Darjeeling; 20 people have reportedly died due to landslides in Mirik and Kalimpong IN Darjeeling district so far.
Landslide kills at least 20 people in Mirik and Kalimpong.
Landslide kills at least 20 people in Mirik and Kalimpong.
In Mirik IT IS reported that at least 14 people have been killed in Limbu Gown alone, 3 people were killed in Mahendra Gown and 2 people were killed in Thana Line area.

Similarly in Kalimpong a Class 9 student was killed in Lava, and all roads to and from Lava are shut down. Even the injured have not been able to be taken to the hospital.

Last night's rain and high wind have caused landslides across Mirik region, and reports of at least 5 houses being damaged in Mirik town itself are coming in. Electricity lines are down, and many houses in Tingling T.E are supposed to have been damaged.

Early morning, excavators were pressed into service to clear the roads and electricity personnel are on their way to mend the lines which were downed last night.

Via - TheDC

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