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Toll in Maharashtra's worst landslide disaster touches 75

Posted on Aug 02 2014 | IANS

Pune, Aug 2 : The overnight toll in Maharashtra's worst landslide disaster in Malin village of Pune district went up to 75 Saturday, a top official said here.

"We have recovered 75 bodies so far... Rescue work is still underway," Additional District Collector Ganesh Patil told IANS.

Among the 75 dead are 37 women, 28 men and 10 children and an estimated 130 others are still trapped or missing in the natural calamity, he added.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and other agencies have rescued 23 people, including the youngest, a three-month old male child Rudra, from under the debris in the past three days.

The village with around 200 people was almost entirely buried under a landslide early Wednesday following torrential rain that had lashed the region.

Inclement weather conditions, wet, sticky soil and the stench from the decaying bodies of humans and animal carcasses is hampering rescue operations.

NDRF officials Friday ruled out chances of finding any more survivors as their gadgets did not indicate otherwise.

However, the rescue operations, including efforts to trace more than two dozen students who took shelter in the village temple and were reportedly washed away in the adjacent flooded river, will continue till Sunday, officials said.

This will make the Malin tragedy the worst-ever landslide disaster in the state. Prior to Malin, the worst ever landslide incident was in Mumbai's Sakinaka area which killed over 75 slumdwellers July 13, 2000.

In Mumbai, the Maharashtra government announced aid of Rs.500,000 to the kin of each of the dead, free medical treatment to all the injured and complete rehabilitation package for the survivors.

The package will include repairing their damaged homes or rebuilding them afresh, providing all official documents, furnishing all household articles and farming requirements to enable them restart their lives.

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