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Incessant rainfall, cyclonic wind damaged two vehicles in Darjeeling town

Incessant rainfall, cyclonic wind damaged two vehicles in Darjeeling town
Incessant rainfall throughout Thursday night accompanied by cyclonic wind uprooted trees and electricity poles in several places and damaged two vehicles in Darjeeling town.
Mahendra Chhetri, who owns a road side eatery on Jawahar Road, on the upper side of the town, miraculously escaped death by a whisker on Friday morning. His food stall was completely damaged by a falling tree. “It was around 8.30 in the morning as I was and going about setting my stuff for the day, I suddenly heard a huge thud on top of the tin roof of my stall. My instinct made me duck. The tree branches just about reached me but I quickly got out of the stall from a small opening,” said Chhetri, still to get over the fright.
Two vehicles- an Innova and a Chevrolet- that were parked on the road in the same area were also damaged by falling tree and electricity pole. However, there was no passenger inside the vehicles when the accident occurred.
The entire stretch of Jawahar Road that connects Mall Road and Chowrasta with Singamari on the upper side was closed for more than three hours. It was opened for traffic only at noon. Other than that at Jawahar Road there was no reports of any incidents in the three hill sub-divisions.
Anindya Sarkar, the deputy magistrate said the district administration with the help of the civic body had cleared Jawahar Road for vehicular movement. “A road stall was damaged by a falling tree and two vehicles were also damaged. But there were no casualties. We have cleared the road by afternoon,” he said.
Darjeeling sub-division received 73.2 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours, while Kurseong received 37.2 mm, Kalimpong 10.1 mm and Siliguri 7.40 mm.
All roads leading to the Hills from the plains were open to traffic. Sethijhora on National Highway 10 connecting the plains with Sikkim and Kalimpong that was blocked was also opened in the afternoon. Last week landslide due to incessant rainfall had blocked Sethijhora.
The Border Road Organization (BRO) that maintains highway is camped in the stretch to clear the road of mud and boulders. However, continuous rainfall is hampering clearing work as boulders and mud continues to roll down on to the road.
With the start of monsoon that arrived late, the hills have been receiving torrential rainfall for several days. The July 1 landslide at Mirik and Kalimpong has taken the lives of thirty-two people with eight still missing and hundreds displaced.
A four member Geological Survey of India (GSI) team is presently in Mirik and Kalimpong to assess the cause and extent of damage due the landslide. They have however refused to make any comment saying there findings and recommendations would be placed in the report that will be submitted to the authorities.(EOIC)

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