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Death toll rises to 60 in landslide in western India

English.news.cn   2014-08-01 15:29:09

NEW DELHI, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Indian authorities Friday said that the death toll in Wednesday's devastating landslide at a village in the western state of Maharashtra has touched 60 while some 100 others are still missing, as hopes for finding any more survivors have been fading with each passing hour.

"More bodies have been pulled out of the mud overnight, taking the death toll to 60. we believe that 100 others missing may have been dead. However, rescuers have been working braving rains to find out any survivor. So far, 10 people have been rescued alive," a senior government official said.

The death toll may go up, he said, on condition of anonymity.

Some 40 houses were wiped out in the landslide triggered by heavy rains on Malin village, 150 km from the town of Pune, on Wednesday morning, trapping underneath 700 residents while they were asleep.

The disaster was revealed after a bus driver first spotted the disappearance of the village under mud.

Local TV channels have been showing footage of rescuers trying their best to look for survivors, and reported a story of a mother and her three-month-old baby being brought out alive after the infant's cries caught the attention of rescue workers Thursday.

While Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences to the victims, Home Minister Rajnath Singh Thursday visited the area and oversaw rescue efforts. He had also announced a compensation of two lakh rupees (4,000 U.S. dollars) to the families of the victims.

Though landslides are common in India during the monsoon, environment experts said this disaster could be man-made as deforestation of jungles on the mountains surrounding the village could have triggered the landslide.

Editor: yanting
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