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Mudslide swallows Indian village; at least 30 dead


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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breid2 July 31 2014 at 9:33 AM

karma from raping young girls

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KumYe SouthEast Love July 31 2014 at 1:15 PM

That's good. Too many population there, they need to be exterminated!

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1 reply
onionson KumYe SouthEast Love July 31 2014 at 1:57 PM

Perhaps you should consider a name change.

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Mike July 31 2014 at 1:22 PM

Let's tell those crazy Americans that whole fictitious towns have disappeared so they'll send foreign aid.

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Kevin K July 31 2014 at 2:12 PM

I am seriously wondering what is wrong with these people posting on this blog. This is tragic, regardless of the social issues in that country. However, it is painfully obvious the raping of the environment and nearby forests greatly contributes to disasters such as this. Big companies come in, rape the land, enjoy their profits, leave devastation behind for the local villagers to suffer under. A world full of heartless, uncaring, wicked people cause much suffering to humanity. God is full of mercy, but there are consequences to the heartless who contribute to the suffering of others, including those lacking in compassion. Check your own heart and attitude.

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Fred July 31 2014 at 6:40 PM

Thats so sad, a village can disappear in todays times and nobody even knows it's gone. What a miserable life they must lead.

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sjean721 July 31 2014 at 4:33 PM

People from India and their families who were born here should go home and help these people. NOT Us soldiers.

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postmate July 31 2014 at 2:59 PM

Very Sad Day indeed.
These people that are living aren't at fault.
They lived their whole life in that area, but the Government has TO NOTIFY these outskirt villages about impending hazards.
These Villages are established, India is BIG, and the government is really worried about their big cities and investments.
Google, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kalcutta, Pune, Banglore, and many more.
Everyone in India isn't a rapist, just tension stricken, very comptetive way of life. True form of Survival of the Fittest.
Just an opinion, from observations during business trips, etc.

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MilitaryReunions July 31 2014 at 2:08 PM

Rudyard Kipling's short story "The Miracle of Purun Bhagat" is about a mudslide like this. Google it and read it. It gives you some insight into India.

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dwtomczyk July 31 2014 at 1:49 PM

if a few million Indian's it's just less mouths to feed

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dnstrawick July 31 2014 at 12:13 PM

Dots, not feathers

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