16 dead in landslides in northeast India

SIXTEEN people in northeast India have been killed by landslides triggered by heavy monsoon rains, a senior police official said today.

The deaths occurred overnight in villages perched on steep mountain sides near the town of Pelling in the scenic Himalayan state of Sikkim.

"Fourteen people were buried alive when rolling debris piled on their houses," senior police officer Jasbir Singh said by phone from Gangtok, capital city of Sikkim.

Singh said a second landslide in the same town claimed two lives, damaged property and disrupted communications.