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Rescuers battle rain in search for India landslide victims

Published on Aug 1, 2014 6:34 AM

MALIN, India (AFP) - Rescuers were desperately searching into the night on Thursday for victims of a landslide in western India that buried dozens of homes, with fears the death toll could reach 150.

Forty two people were confirmed dead and eight pulled alive from the mud and debris in Maharashtra state, but with rain and strong winds hampering rescue efforts, hopes of finding any more survivors were fading.

"Miracles do happen, we will keep looking, but under current conditions it is very, very bleak," said Alok Avasthy, a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) commander at the scene, who added about 160 people were thought to have been living in the dozens of damaged houses.

Relatives told of losing whole families after the hillside gave way early on Wednesday in a remote area of Pune district, sending tonnes of earth and trees crashing onto a village below.

A rescue worker searches for survivors at the site of a landslide at Malin village in the western Indian state of Maharashtra on July 31, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
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