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Himalayan Quake's Toll Rises to 55

Rain, landslides hamper rescue efforts
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2011 6:43 AM CDT
India Earthquake: At Least 55 Dead, Rescue Efforts Hampered by Rain, Landslides
Nepalese women remove bricks of the damaged house to make way for pedestrians in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011.   (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

(Newser) – At least 55 people are dead in India, Nepal, and Tibet after yesterday’s 6.9 magnitude earthquake, and the search for more survivors in remote Himalayan villages is being hampered by rain and landslides. "The situation doesn't look good," a UN official tells Reuters. "My feeling is the death toll and number of injured are going to increase." Helicopters could not fly over affected areas due to thick clouds, but some blocked mountain passes have reopened.

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Some towns are still without electricity, and the AP reports that more than 100,000 homes have been damaged. Most of the deaths were caused when houses, which had been weakened by recent monsoons, collapsed. (Read more earthquake stories.)

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