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Ten killed in landslide in India, dozens missing

Ten killed in landslide in India, dozens missing
July 20, 2023 Web Desk

MUMBAI (AFP) - At least 10 people were killed after a landslide triggered by heavy rains smashed into their village in India's Maharashtra state with dozens more feared trapped, officials said Thursday.

Rescue teams were battling lashing rain in the remote, hilly and forested Raigad district, with people scrambling at mounds of earth and rubble. Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra's deputy chief minister, said 10 people had died in the landslide, which overwhelmed the village overnight.

"More than 200 people reside there, we have rescued about 70 people so far -- out of those, 21 are injured," Fadnavis said on Thursday morning. Police officer Harish Kalsekar told AFP that nearly 50 people were feared still buried under the debris.

"It is raining and the terrain is hilly, so heavy equipment can't be moved there," Kalsekar said. Interior Minister Amit Shah said the priority was "to evacuate people from the scene and treat the injured immediately".

India has been battered by rains since the start of the annual monsoon season in June, and flooding and landslides have killed scores of people. Monsoon rains are vital to replenishing rivers and groundwater, but the deluge also causes widespread destruction every year.

Experts say climate change is increasing the number of extreme weather events around the world, with damming, deforestation and development projects in India exacerbating the human toll.