30 dead following India landslide

\ Pune : At least 30 people have died after a landslide buried a remote village in western India. Two days of torrential rains trig...


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Pune : At least 30 people have died after a landslide buried a remote village in western India. Two days of torrential rains triggered the landslide on Wednesday, but national rescue personnel could not reach the area in Pune district of Maharashtra state for several hours because of bad communications, dangerous roads and debris.


The disaster only came to light when a bus driver passed by and saw that the village had been wiped out.


Thirty bodies have been recovered from Malin village and eight people pulled out alive, according to rescue officials.

Crowds of people from nearby areas are helping rescuers, using their bare hands to move fallen trees and rocks.

Overnight, emergency workers used flood lights mounted on vehicles to illuminate the disaster area, where the tangled roofs of homes poked up through thick mud.

Rescuers expect the death toll to rise in the village, which is home to 704 people in the foothills of the Sahyadri Mountains. About 150 people are believed to be trapped.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi mourned the loss of lives and said all possible efforts must be made to help the victims, according to a statement from his office. He sent home minister Rajnath Singh to the disaster area.

About 250 disaster response workers and at least 100 ambulances are involved in the rescue effort.

Landslides are common in the area during the monsoon season, which runs from June to September. The area around the village has been deforested extensively, increasing its vulnerability to landslides. Similar deforestation and environmental damage have caused floods and landslides in other parts of India.

Pune district is about 95 miles southeast of Mumbai, India's commercial capital.

Last year, more than 6,000 people were killed as floods and landslides swept through Uttarakhand state during the monsoon season. - Agencies 

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