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Saturday, December 2, 2023

India. Landslide. Fatalities. Missing. “The ground suddenly shook, we ran out of our houses”

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Heavy rains caused a landslide in Maharashtra, India. At least 22 people died in the mudslide. Rescue teams resumed their search for survivors on Friday. Authorities estimate that more than 100 people are trapped under the rubble.

A mudslide hit the mountain village of Irshalwadi in Maharashtra state on Wednesday night. It is located about 60 kilometers from Mumbai, the capital of this state. The element destroyed over a dozen of the 50 houses there. At least 22 people have died, local authorities said.

“The ground suddenly shook, we ran out of our homes,” one survivor who had lost several family members told the BBC. “There’s never been a landslide here before,” added another.

Humanitarian aid camps have been set up at the foot of the hill where the village is located. About 98 people have been rescued so far.

Floods in IndiaReuters

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A rescue operation is underway

Due to the terrible weather conditions – thick fog and heavy rainfall – the search was suspended on Thursday night. Rescue operations resumed on Friday morning. It is estimated that more than 100 people may be trapped under the rubble.

Rescue teams wearing bright orange raincoats search for survivors. – The conditions are difficult, it’s raining heavily, it’s foggy. The biggest challenge is the unavailability of heavy equipment, said Pune SB Singh, commander of the government agency National Disaster Response Force, dealing with response to dangerous situations or disasters.

– Our plan today will be to divide the area affected by the landslide, which is 250 by 200 meters, into different zones, different work places. With the help of the local people, we will be able to extract all the bodies, as they will be able to tell us how many people lived in a particular house.” Dogs are involved.

As a result of torrential rains associated with the monsoon, some railway stations in Maharashtra are closed as water flooded buildings and washed away the tracks. Schools were closed in the state capital, Mumbai.

Dangerous season

Over the past two weeks, heavy rains have killed more than 100 people in northern India. Last week, at least 88 people died in Himachal Pradesh alone.

In this region as well as in the neighboring states of Uttarkhand and Hariana, there were many landslides and damage to numerous residential buildings. The authorities created about 2.5 thousand temporary camps to provide shelter to injured people.

The monsoon season in India lasts from June to September. The Indian Meteorological Service estimates that so far this year’s rainfall has brought two percent more water than usual.

Landslide in India

Landslide in IndiaReuters

Main photo source: Reuters

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