SILIGURI(WB): At least 18 people have been killed in landslides triggered by heavy rains in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong sub-divisions of Darjeeling district since last night, a SSB officer said today.
The landslides have caused extensive damage to NH 10 (old NH 55A) and NH 55, cutting off road and telecommunication link to Darjeeling and Sikkim.
25 landslips were reported in the three sub-divisions.
18 people have been killed in the landslides and a SSB team has rushed to the affected area, the officer said.
There are also reports of 15 people missing at 8 Mile and 11 Mile areas in Kalimpong.
NH 10 has borne the brunt with the road link to Sikkim, Kalimpong, Lava, Lolegaon and Garubathan snapped.
NH 55 connecting Siliguri, Matigara with Darjeeling was also damaged particularly in Mirik and Rohini areas. A bridge on NH 55 has been washed away at Nimbujhora.
Giving details of the number of people killed in the landslides, the PRO of SSB's Randindanga camp said Mirik reported ten deaths followed by Kalimpong where seven people lost their lives and one person was killed at Sukiapokhri.
SSB's 41 and 30 battalions have been sent to the landslide-hit areas and SSB personnel from border outposts were also being rushed for the rescue operation, he said.
Rescue work was underway and the figure could rise, he said.
Border Roads Organisation personnel have been pressed into service.
Landslides have occurred at several places between Mongpong and Sevoke Kalibari and people are stranded on NH31 which links these places.
While Sevoke Kalibari is situated on the top of a hill near Bagh Pool over the mighty Teesta river and is 23 km from Siliguri town, Mongpong famed for the banks of the tilting Teesta is a 32 km drive from Siliguri.
The BRO personnel managed to partially clear a portion of NH31 for traffic, a BRO official said.