Maharashtra landslide toll reaches 30
The death toll in a landslide that wiped out a village near Pune in Maharashtra touched 30 Thursday.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited the site in the morning and inspected rescue operations in Malin village which was swept away by the landslide Wednesday.
He promised all assistance to the victims' families. Over 140 people are still buried under the mudslide and debris.
"Eight injured people have been rescued and 30 bodies have been recovered by rescuers," a statement from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said.
The statement said nine teams of the NDRF comprising 378 rescuers were working in adverse weather to rescue those who were trapped.
Accompanied by Vinod Tawde, leader of the opposition in the Maharashtra legislative council, Rajnath Singh travelled by road to the site.
The central government has announced Rs.200,000 each to the families of those killed in the disaster.
By Thursday morning, the rescuers succeeded in saving 22 people, including eight who were injured. Sophisticated gadgets are being used to trace the missing.
The tragedy occurred when a massive section of a hillock crashed down on the village, around 120 km from here. The village had some 50 homes.
On Wednesday evening, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil and Ministers Harshavardhan Patil and Madhukarrao Pichad visited the site.
Some 400 people including personnel from the Indian Army, NDRF, the Maharashtra Disaster Response Force, police as well as villagers searched for those still trapped under stones, boulders and sticky mud.
In New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish over the tragedy. The Lok Sabha condoled the deaths.
Heavy rains, which have lashed the picturesque region for over four days, continues to hamper relief operations.
District officials have evacuated residents in around half a dozen other villages in the hilly area.
(Posted on 31-07-2014)