'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
'Mountain Came Down': Village Vanished in Mudslide
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)

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. (Read more India mudslide stories.)

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