Death toll rises to 41, over 100 still missing in landslide in India

MUMBAI, (PNA/Xinhua) — At least 41 people were killed and over 100 remained missing in Wednesday’s landslide which crashed on a village near Pune in the Indian state of Maharashtra, local media reported Friday.

The officials have pegged the figure of dead at 41 with over 100 others being trapped under the debris.

The landslide hit some 40 homes in the village, leaving only mud, slush and debris, when people were sleeping on Wednesday. Some media reports said that part of a mountain had come down the village

Heavy rain and strong winds slowed down the efforts to reach the engulfed thatch huts and brick houses in Malin village, about 80 km north of Pune, even though rescue teams worked through the night with floodlights and earth-moving machines.

“We are trying our best, but with every passing moment the situation is taking a turn for the worse,” said National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) commandant Alok Awasthi. “The hills are soft due to rains and deforestation.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday termed as “saddening” the loss of lives in a landslide in Pune, and said Home Minister Rajnath Singh would be visiting the spot to take stock of the situation.

Landslides are common in many parts of India during the monsoon from June to September.