Rescuers battle rains in search for missing landslide victims in western India

Rescuers battle rains in search for missing landslide victims in western India

On Wednesday, landslide caused by monsoon rains hit remote village in Maharashtra state

By Anadolu staff

ANKARA (AA) - Rescuers battled through rains in search for dozens of missing victims of a landslide in India’s western Maharashtra state, with the death toll reaching 16.

The landslide in Irshalwadi, a mountain village in the Raigad district, late Wednesday night buried a large number of houses, prompting authorities to launch a massive rescue operation in the area.

Atul Zende, a senior police officer in the district, told Anadolu over the phone that more than 50 people are still untraced.

"The rescue operation resumed in the morning and is going on," he said.

According to officials, they have recovered 16 dead bodies from the site.

"The area is a geographically remote place. So, it is very difficult to carry out the rescue operation," a district official told Anadolu on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media. Bad weather conditions continue to slow the rescue process, the official added.

Devendra Fadnavis, the state’s deputy chief minister, said on Thursday night that 1,000 more workers with machinery were sent to the site to join the rescue operation.

He also said that about 11,500 citizens in Thane, Palghar, Raigad and Ratnagiri districts in the state's Konkan region were evacuated in the last two days.

Earlier, he said that over 200 people reside in the village hit by the landslide and 70 of them were unaffected.

Soon after the incident, teams of India's National Disaster Response Force reached the spot and a rescue operation was launched together with local administration.

Dozens of people have died in various Indian states in the past few weeks as heavy monsoons lash several parts of the country.

The western Maharashtra and Gujarat states continue to see heavy rains in the past few days.

The India Meteorological Department on Friday warned of heavy rains in some parts of western India.

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