Mudslide swallows Indian village; at least 30 dead

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Mudslide swallows Indian village; at least 30 dead
A mudslide surrounds a building in Malin village in Pune district the western Indian state of Maharashtra on July 30, 2014. A major landslide struck a village in western India following heavy monsoon rains, leaving 150 people feared trapped, a rescue official said. The landslide submerged Malin village in Pune district of Maharashtra state, said Alok Avasthy, regional commandant at the National Disaster Response Force. 'Civil authorities say around 42 to 50 houses are affected. 150 people are feared trapped. We have sent two teams,' Avasthy told AFP. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
A mudslide is seen in Malin village in Pune district the western Indian state of Maharashtra on July 30, 2014. A major landslide struck a village in western India following heavy monsoon rains, leaving 150 people feared trapped, a rescue official said. The landslide submerged Malin village in Pune district of Maharashtra state, said Alok Avasthy, regional commandant at the National Disaster Response Force. 'Civil authorities say around 42 to 50 houses are affected. 150 people are feared trapped. We have sent two teams,' Avasthy told AFP. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
MUMBAI, INDIA: Indian rescue workers watch as a mechanical digger removes rubble from landslide to search for survivors of a landslide in the Saki Naka suburb of Mumbai, 28 July 2005. More than 70 houses lie buried under the debris from which firemen and rescue workers have so far removed some 30 bodies and fear thet more than 100 residents may be trapped under huge bolders and mud. Landslides and building collapses caused by the heaviest rain ever recorded in India left around 450 people feared dead and brought India's financial capital Mumbai to a near-standstill, officials and police said. AFP PHOTO/Sebastian D'SOUZA. (Photo credit should read SEBASTIAN D'SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
Map locates Pune district in Maharashtra state, India.; 1c x 2 inches; 46.5 mm x 50 mm;
Indian villagers cross the river Baitarani in a country boat after the same was flooded following monsoon rains near Akhuapada in Jajpur distict of Orissa state, India, Wednesday, July 23, 2014. India's monsoon season, which runs from June to September, bring rains that are vital to agriculture but also cause floods and landslides. (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)
An Indian village woman cries as she watches a rescue operation at the site of a landslide in Malin village, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Torrential rains triggered a massive landslide that buried a remote village in western India on Wednesday, killing more than a dozen people as it swept away scores of houses and possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said. (AP Photo)
Rescue workers carry the body of a victim after a massive landslide in Malin village in Pune district of western Maharashtra state, India, Thursday, July 31, 2014. Two days of torrential rains triggered the landslide early Wednesday, killing more than two dozen people and trapping more than 150, authorities said. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Rescue workers carry the body of a victim at the site of a landslide in Malin village, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Torrential rains triggered a massive landslide that buried a remote village in western India on Wednesday, killing more than a dozen people as it swept away scores of houses and possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said. (AP Photo)
Villagers console each other as they watch a rescue operation at the site of a landslide in Malin village, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Torrential rains triggered a massive landslide that buried a remote village in western India on Wednesday, killing more than a dozen people as it swept away scores of houses and possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said. (AP Photo)
Homes stand damaged as rescuers work at the site of a landslide in Malin village, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. The landslide that hit early Wednesday morning killed more than a dozen and possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said. The area received 10.8 centimeters (4.25 inches) of rain on Tuesday, with a heavy downpour continuing through Wednesday. (AP Photo/Nitin Lawate)
The body of a landslide victim is unloaded from an ambulance outside a hospital in Ghodegaon village, some 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Malin village, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. The landslide that hit early Wednesday morning killed more than a dozen and possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said. The area received 10.8 centimeters (4.25 inches) of rain on Tuesday, with a heavy downpour continuing through Wednesday. (AP Photo/Nitin Lawate)
Medical staff and others inspect the bodies of victims of a landslide, at a hospital in Ghodegaon village, some 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Malin village, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Torrential rains triggered a massive landslide that buried the remote Malin village in western India on Wednesday, killing more than a dozen people as it swept away scores of houses and possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said. (AP Photo/Nitin Lawate)
An Indian woman wades through the floodwaters in Gauhati, India, Friday, June 27, 2014. Several people were killed due to electrocution and landslides triggered by incessant rains in India’s northeastern state of Assam, according to local reports. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
Hospital staff arrange sheets to lay bodies of victims of a landslide, at a hospital in Ghodegaon village, some 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Malin village, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Torrential rains triggered a massive landslide that buried the remote Malin village in western India on Wednesday, killing more than a dozen people as it swept away scores of houses and possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said. (AP Photo/Nitin Lawate)
The body of a landslide victim is unloaded from an ambulance outside a hospital in Ghodegaon village, some 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Malin village, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. The landslide that hit early Wednesday morning killed more than a dozen and possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said. The area received 10.8 centimeters (4.25 inches) of rain on Tuesday, with a heavy downpour continuing through Wednesday. (AP Photo/Nitin Lawate)
A man lifts a girl onto an inflatable boat operated by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to rescue flood affected people in Gauhati, India, Friday, June 27, 2014. Several people were killed due to electrocution and landslides triggered by incessant rains in India’s northeastern state of Assam, according to local reports. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
A flood affected man carries milk containers on a banana raft as members of India's National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) ride an inflatable boat to ferry flood to affected people in Gauhati, India, Friday, June 27, 2014. Several people were killed due to electrocution and landslides triggered by incessant rains in India’s northeastern state of Assam, according to local reports. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
Indians wade through the flood waters in Gauhati, India, Friday, June 27, 2014. Several people were killed due to electrocution and landslides triggered by incessant rains in India’s northeastern state of Assam, according to local reports. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
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By MANISH MEHTA

MALIN, India (AP) -- Rescuers using earth-moving equipment and their bare hands dug through heavy mud and debris Thursday after a landslide engulfed an entire village in western India, killing at least 30 people and leaving about 100 missing and feared dead.

More than 24 hours after the Wednesday morning landslide, authorities said the chances of survival were slim for anyone still trapped under the mud in Malin, a village of some 700 people in Pune district of Maharashtra state.

Suresh Jadhav, a district official, said around 40 homes were wiped out.

Two days of torrential rains triggered the landslide, which continued to pound the area as rescuers brought bodies covered in soaked white sheets to waiting ambulances while relatives stood by, weeping. Bad communications, dangerous roads and debris delayed national rescue personnel from the stricken area for several hours Wednesday.

The disaster only came to light when a bus driver passed by and saw that the village had disappeared under masses of mud and earth.


Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village

"The driver returned to a nearby city and alerted authorities," Jadhav said. "Everything on the mountain came down."

Thirty bodies had been recovered and eight people pulled out alive, said rescue official Sachin Tamboli.

Suresh Dhonde, who was working in another town when the landslide ripped through his village, said only two people managed to get out of his home alive.

"The other six are buried under the mud," he said.

Crowds of people from nearby areas were helping rescuers, using their bare hands to move fallen trees and rocks. About 250 disaster response workers and at least 100 ambulances were involved in the rescue effort, officials said.

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

Rescuers expected the death toll to rise in the village at the foothills of the Sahyadri Mountains. Sandeep Rai Rathore, a top official of the National Disaster Response Force, estimated that around 100 people were missing and feared dead.

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.

Landslides are common in the area during the monsoon season, which runs from June through 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 150 kilometers (95 miles) southeast of Mumbai, India's commercial capital.

On Thursday, heavy rains hit a remote mountainous village in northern India and six members of a family were feared dead, said police officer Pravin Tamta. Police have recovered two bodies and were searching for four others in Tehri district in the hilly Uttarakhand state, Tamta said. The village is 300 kilometers (200 miles) north of New Delhi.

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

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