Heavy rains trigger multiple landslides in Sikkim, highways blocked

Gangtok, 20 Oct : Normal life was thrown out of gear in Sikkim on Wednesday as torrential rain caused landslides at several places, blocking the National Highway-10 and snapping the arterial road link with neighbouring West Bengal, officials said.

Following heavy rain, one of the landslides hit the highway at the 29th Mile area in West Bengal, around 60 km from the Himalayan state's Rangpo border.

Another landslide occurred at Pani House here this morning, disrupting vehicular movement, the officials said, adding that the efforts were underway to remove the debris from the road.

Supporting pillars of a steel bridge at Rangpo, the gateway to Sikkim, got damaged due to heavy flow of water in the Teesta river which has been in a spate over the past few days, they said.

The authorities have started restricting the movement of vehicles on the bridge.

The downpour also damaged crops and properties at several places, the officials said.

As the rain continued to batter the state, a large number of people have been rescued to safe places and relief materials have been sent to the affected areas.