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Heavy rain, landslides hit normal life in north Bengal

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata/Jalpaiguri 

Incessant rain over the past three days has jeopardized normal life in north Bengal, creating a flood-like situation in the low-lying areas and triggering landslides in the Hills.

The weatherman on Friday predicted downpour in north Bengal and parts of Sikkim till Monday morning.

Road connectivity between Sikkim and other parts of the country has been severely affected with landslides blocking National Highway 10, the lifeline of the small Himalayan state, official sources said.

Water levels in Teesta, Diana, Lish, Ghish, Raidak, Kaljani, Sankosh and Jaldhaka rivers have risen to alarming levels and many areas in Malbazar, Moynaguri and Dhupguri towns have been inundated, they said.

Passenger train services between New Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar through Dooars area has been suspended, a North Frontier Railway official said.

The trains would be taking the Coochbehar route for the time being, he said.

Conditions are likely to worsen in the region with the Met department forecasting heavy to very heavy rain till Sunday in the five districts of sub-Himalayan West Bengal - Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar and Alipurduar.

Heavy precipitation has also been predicted in north Dinajpur, south Dinajpur and Malda areas till Monday morning.

Due to landslides triggered by continuous rainfall, Sikkim and Dooars region of north Bengal have been cut off from Siliguri, official sources said.

In the wake of the rising water level in rivers and flooding in low-lying areas, people are being shifted to safer locations, they said.

Since Tuesday, at least 35 small and medium landslides have been reported in the mountains owing to the incessant rain, an official said.

"We have already distributed relief materials among people affected by incessant rainfall. We are keeping a watch on the situation. The PWD department, along with the National Hydropower Corporation Ltd, SSP Malbazar and block-level officers, is in touch with us.

"Work is on to clear debris from NH-10 as the road has been blocked at a few places due to landslides," Kalimpong district magistrate Vishwanath said.

Bagdogra near Siliguri recorded the highest rainfall in 24 hours till 8 am on Friday at 200 mm, followed by Gazaldoba (170 mm), Buxaduar and Champasari (150 mm), Jalpaiguri (140 mm), Bagrakote and Diana (110 mm) and Sevoke and Domohani (130 mm).

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, July 12 2019. 20:25 IST