'Mountain Came Down': Village Vanished in Mudslide

30 dead, 100 missing as Indian rescuers comb through mud

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jul 31, 2014 8:19 AM CDT

(Newser) – More than 24 hours after yesterday's landslide in western India, authorities said the chances of survival were slim for anyone still trapped under the mud. The mudslide in Malin—a village of some 700 people about 95 miles southeast of Mumbai—has killed at least 30 people and left about 100 missing and feared dead; at least eight people have reportedly been pulled out alive. Bad communications, dangerous roads, and debris delayed rescue personnel from the area for several hours yesterday. Rescuers expect the death toll to rise.

Incredibly, the disaster only came to light when a bus driver passed by and saw that the village had disappeared. "The driver returned to a nearby city and alerted authorities," said a district official. "Everything on the mountain came down." About 250 disaster response workers and at least 100 ambulances, as well as residents from nearby areas, are now involved in the rescue effort, using earth-moving equipment and their bare hands to dig through heavy mud and debris. Two days of torrential rains triggered this landslide, and continued to pound the area as rescuers brought bodies to ambulances while relatives stood by weeping. India PM Narendra Modi mourned the loss of lives, saying in a statement that all possible efforts must be made to help the victims.

Rescue workers carry the body of a victim after a massive landslide in the village of Malin in India on July 31, 2014.
Rescue workers carry the body of a victim after a massive landslide in the village of Malin in India on July 31, 2014.   (Rafiq Maqbool)
Relatives wail after seeing the body of a victim after a massive landslide in Malin on July 31, 2014.
Relatives wail after seeing the body of a victim after a massive landslide in Malin on July 31, 2014.   (Rafiq Maqbool)
Indian villagers watch rescue operations in Malin on July 31, 2014.
Indian villagers watch rescue operations in Malin on July 31, 2014.   (Rafiq Maqbool)
Rescue workers carry the body of a victim after the landslide in Malin on July 31, 2014.
Rescue workers carry the body of a victim after the landslide in Malin on July 31, 2014.   (Rafiq Maqbool)
Relatives wail after seeing the body of a victim after a massive landslide in Malin village in Pune district of western Maharashtra state, India, Thursday, July 31, 2014.
Relatives wail after seeing the body of a victim after a massive landslide in Malin village in Pune district of western Maharashtra state, India, Thursday, July 31, 2014.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Villagers console a woman whose children, three in total, were killed in a landslide in Malin village in Pune district of the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Thursday, July 31, 2014.
Villagers console a woman whose children, three in total, were killed in a landslide in Malin village in Pune district of the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Thursday, July 31, 2014.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Indian women wail after seeing the body of a relative, victim of a landslide, in Malin village in Pune district of the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Thursday, July 31, 2014.
Indian women wail after seeing the body of a relative, victim of a landslide, in Malin village in Pune district of the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Thursday, July 31, 2014.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Rescuers work at the site of a massive landslide in Malin village in Pune district of western Maharashtra state, India, Thursday, July 31, 2014.
Rescuers work at the site of a massive landslide in Malin village in Pune district of western Maharashtra state, India, Thursday, July 31, 2014.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Homes stand damaged as rescuers work at the site of a landslide in Malin village, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
Homes stand damaged as rescuers work at the site of a landslide in Malin village, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.   (AP Photo/Nitin Lawate)
A crowd gathers to watch a rescue operation at the site of a landslide in Malin village, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
A crowd gathers to watch a rescue operation at the site of a landslide in Malin village, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Wednesday, July 30, 2014.   (AP Photo)
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