Thursday, 2nd October 2014

Death toll climbs to 73 in landslide in western India


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The death toll in Wednesday's devastating landslide in a village in the western state of Maharashtra has touched 73 while some 100 others are still missing, Indian authorities said on Saturday.

More than two days after a landslide swept away 40 homes in Malin village in Pune's Ambegaon taluka, the rescue operations are still on.

The National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) said that the removal of slush and mud has been the biggest challenge. The force has been using canine squads to look for people under the debris.

NDRF commandment Alok Avasthy said, "We have done 50 percent of the job and it will take a minimum of 48 to 72 hours for the rest. "

Rescue work has been hampered at Ambegaon due to another landslide that took place on Thursday.

A total of 50 ambulances, 30 dumpers and 20 JCBs have been pressed into service for rescue and relief work while nine teams of NDRF comprising about 380 personnel are at the spot, he said.

In addition, 300 laborers were mobilized from municipal corporations of Junner and Alandi. Rescue teams are also armed with flood lights and necessary equipment.

Singh, who visited the village on Thursday, announced an assistance of two lakh rupees (4,000 U.S. dollars) to the relatives of the deceased from the PM Relief Fund. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan also announced a financial aid of five lakh rupees to the family of the victims from the CM Relief fund.

Free medical treatment will be given to the injured and proper rehabilitation of the village will be done on priority, the CM's office said.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi is likely to visit the area on Saturday.

MUMBAI, Aug. 2 (Xinhua)


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