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More bodies recovered in massive Nepal landslide



KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) - Rescuers recovered nine more bodies Monday from a massive weekend landslide in northern Nepal, raising the official death toll in the disaster to 19, but say there is no chance of finding alive any of the more than 150 people believed still buried under the rubble.

Police and army rescuers helped by villagers resumed their search for victims through piles of rock, mud and upturned trees Monday, two days after the landslide crushed dozens of houses in the village of Mankha, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Katmandu, Nepal's capital.

The bodies of six women and three children were recovered Monday afternoon, said Nepal's Department of Natural Disaster Management.

Meanwhile, in neighboring India, authorities evacuated tens of thousands of villagers, fearing that floodwaters from Nepal could reach there.

Gopal Parajuli, the chief government administrator in the area where the landslide hit, said rescuers were using bulldozers and excavators to dig through the debris in some areas. They were also trying to carve out temporary roads to reach people stranded on the other side of Arniko highway, a route that connects Katmandu with northern districts and the border with China.

The landslide blocked a mountain river, causing it to back up and form a lake that was threatening to burst and sweep away several villages, although Parajuli said the water level was slowly falling.

Officials have, however, ruled out finding anyone alive.

"We have no chance of finding any of the missing people alive under this pile of debris," Yadav Prasad Koirala, who heads the government's Department of Natural Disaster Management, said Sunday. "We have the names of 159 people who are believed to be missing and buried, but there could be even more people."

Controlled explosions by Nepal's army on Saturday managed to knock down part of an earth wall that had blocked a river and created a temporary dam, allowing some water to flow out, but much of it still remained trapped, posing a threat to downstream villages as far away as India.

In India's Bihar state, authorities evacuated tens of thousands of villagers after flood warnings were issued in eight districts. Indian soldiers, as well as air force helicopters and jets, were being readied to launch relief and rescue operations, said Anirudh Kumar, a top official in Patna, Bihar's capital.

The local government also invoked a law that would allow authorities to forcibly evacuate villagers who refused to leave their homes and property and move to higher ground or to government-run relief camps. The government has set up 120 such camps.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed right now. We don't know the quantum of water that will come down" on Indian villages as a result of the controlled blasts on the Nepali side of the border, Kumar said.

More than 125,000 people, most of them poor farmers, live in the most vulnerable part of Bihar state, he said. The eight districts where flood warnings have been issued are home to more than 1 million people.

Separately, another landslide swept three houses in a village in eastern Nepal on Monday, killing four people and leaving six others missing.

Landslides are common in mostly mountainous Nepal and in many parts of India during the rainy season, which runs from June through September.

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michael.k.goodwin August 04 2014 at 6:51 AM

Bodies are recovered, people are rescued !

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1 reply
tma2c michael.k.goodwin August 04 2014 at 2:11 PM

Thank you I was going to make the same comment. Where do they find these editors. Must be Stanford

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kitejkoch August 04 2014 at 8:51 AM

Yes Michael you are correct!! Obviously the writers of this piece are not very well educated! Typical AOL crap!!

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ftuna2u2 August 04 2014 at 10:07 AM

9 bodies rescued???

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jfsinc1929 August 04 2014 at 10:24 AM

HEADLINES - 9 more "rescued" - yet they were dead. So I guess they were recovered, not rescued. And we wonder why everyone is so "left" leaning when journalist can't even write a headline for an article. I guess no one goes to study journalism in college anymore. Sad!

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cptsujet August 04 2014 at 11:26 AM

Hey AOL, did you stop to think that if they are dead, they are NOT rescued?

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Tin Manne August 04 2014 at 10:28 AM

Humans are nothing to the forces of Mother Nature. I see awe and majesty when the elements make a small scratch on the surface of the Earth. The top of a hill or mountain will eventually fall down. There is sadness for all life lost in all landslides, not just humans. It is the circle of life. Humans should be honored to see a display.

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Howard Fein August 04 2014 at 12:04 PM

They feared? The flood waters would reach India? Where else would they go? Russia?

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genegene002 August 04 2014 at 12:51 PM

How do you rescue bodied please tell me this! Maybe even show a video or something. Im confused were all the mh17 victims resuced yet

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1 reply
genegene002 genegene002 August 04 2014 at 12:52 PM

"RESCUED" OOPS!!!

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supermolar August 04 2014 at 3:29 PM

"9 more bodies rescued in Nepal landslide Monday"-who is writing for Huffpost? You do not rescue bodies-they are already dead.

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