At least 25 people were reported dead in various parts of West Bengal's Darjeeling district on Wednesday in landslides triggered by heavy rainfall the previous night.
The landslides caused heavy damage to life and property, additional superintendent of police Surya Pratap Yadav told IB Times India over the phone. Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the state police launched a massive rescue operation in the affected areas, he said.
"The situation is very grim here as landslides have caused blockages on several routes and have disrupted network in the area," ASP Yadav said.
A class 9 student was killed in Lava, Kalimpong, while 19 others were killed at various locations in Mirik, according to local media reports. Three people were killed in Mahendra village, two in Thana Line and 14 in Tingling Limbu village in Mirik.
At least 15 people are reported missing at 8 Mile and 11 Mile areas in Kalimpong, PTI reported.
The injured people were rushed to a Mirik hospital. Authorities feared that the death could rise further.
The chief of Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) and head of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) that runs Darjeeling, Bimal Gurung, visited the hospital to meet the people injured in the incident, Mirik Ko Sero Fero reported.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she will visit the affected areas in Darjeeling.
I am monitoring situation closely and will rush there after meet in Murshidabad 2/2
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) July 1, 2015
Anguished about loss of lives in Mirik/Kalimpong landslides. Home Secretary already in N Bengal 1/2 — Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) July 1, 2015
All routes to Siliguri closed
All roads to Lava were blocked due to landslides. Several houses have also been damaged, while many were swept away.
Meanwhile, more landslides were reported from other parts of the district, including Kuresong and Sukna. The access to Siliguri from Sukna was cut off after Rakti bridge was washed away.
With boulders and rocks covering the main road in Kurseong, at Khahare Khola, the access to Siliguri Via NH 55 is cut off, The Darjeeling Chronicle reported.