Landslide death toll climbs to 38

A day after the massive landslide at Malin village near Pune, the death toll has reached 38 while another 130 people are feared trapped under the rubble.

The incessant rain and poor road and phone connectivity hampered rescue operations through the day. “The more it rains, the less are the chances of being able to rescue people,” said National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) chief Shailendra Awasthi.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited the site on Thursday morning and announced a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

Reasons unknown

“We are yet to understand the reasons behind this incident. Experts from the Geological Survey of India may provide answers. But rescue work is of utmost importance,” said Mr. Singh.

He added it was necessary to have aerial rescue operations for calamities in remote areas.

When asked whether the felling of trees for rice cultivation on the hills could have contributed to the disaster, Mr. Singh said any development should be done in an eco-friendly manner.

Most of the hill slopes in the area have rice fields. “This village has received much more rainfall in the past. But this has never happened,” said Shantaram Gabale from the neighbouring Phulwade village.

The NDRF has placed 250 jawans for rescue work. “We are removing the mud with machines but rainwater is bringing the mud down again from the hill,” said Sub-Inspector Bhavani Singh of the NDRF.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 4:47:11 AM |

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