- Landslides caused by torrential rains in India on Wednesday killed dozens of people.
- The mudslide buried 17 houses and killed at least 21 people, but many others are feared to be buried under the rubble.
- According to an official, several of the 75 people rescued were taken to hospital for treatment.
Rescue workers found five more bodies in India’s western state of Maharashtra on Friday, raising the death toll from landslides triggered by heavy rains to at least 21 and many more feared buried under the debris.
The state’s Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted that hundreds of rescuers and trackers have been deployed to search for people trapped by the landslide late Wednesday night. He said that severe weather conditions have hampered the relief efforts and the authorities have sent medical teams to help the injured.
The National Disaster Response Force said search operations had been halted on Thursday night due to the threat of further landslides in the dark in addition to heavy rain.
Landslides triggered by heavy rains kill 10, many others buried under piles of debris in western India
It said rescue workers resumed search operations on Friday and found five bodies, bringing the confirmed death toll to 21.
Ten other rescued persons have been hospitalized, he said. It is not known how many people are feared to be trapped under the debris.
An official told the Press Trust of India news agency that 75 people have been rescued and many more are stranded.
The landslide hit Arshalwadi village in Raigad district and 17 of the 50 houses there were buried.
The mountainous terrain has made rescuers’ work difficult as heavy equipment cannot be easily moved to remove the debris. From the base of the hill, it takes around 90 minutes to reach Arshal Wadi due to lack of paved roads.
The India Meteorological Department has placed Maharashtra under alert as the state is lashed by incessant rains this week. The rains have disrupted life for many in the state, including in the capital Mumbai, where authorities closed schools on Thursday.
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Local media reported that local train services were affected due to water flowing inside the stations and over the tracks.
Record monsoon rains have killed more than 100 people in northern India over the past two weeks, officials said, as the rains washed away roads and collapsed houses.
Monsoon rains across the country have been about 2 percent above normal this year, the meteorological agency said.
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India regularly experiences severe flooding during the monsoon season, which runs between June and September and brings most of South Asia’s annual rainfall. Rainfall is important for rain-fed crops grown during the season but often causes heavy losses.
Climate change is causing the monsoon to become more erratic, scientists say, leading to frequent landslides and flash floods in India’s Himalayan north.