India landslides kill 38 in Darjeeling

Bystanders look at a damaged bridge in the village of Garidhura some 35kms from Siliguri on July 1, 2015, after landslides struck the eastern state of West Bengal Image copyright AFP
Image caption Officials blamed the landslide on incessant rains in the area for the past couple of days

Landslides triggered by heavy rains have killed at least 38 people in India's tea-growing region of Darjeeling, police say.

Rescuers were digging through debris looking for survivors after landslides struck homes in Mirik, Kalimpong and Darjeeling towns in West Bengal state, officials said.

More people are feared trapped under mounds of mud and debris.

Roads and communication links have been extensively damaged, officials said.

Incessant rains in the area for the past couple of days caused the landslide, district magistrate Anurag Srivastava told the BBC's Amitabha Bhattasali.

Thousands of tourists are now stuck in the picturesque hilly area, our correspondent adds.

The landslides have brought down a number of homes on the slopes of the hills, news agency AFP quoted senior state police official Anuj Sharma as saying.

Darjeeling district, which attracts thousands of tourists every year, is about 600km (372 miles) north of the state capital, Kolkata (Calcutta).

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