Landslide triggered by heavy rains kills 10 and traps many others in western India

A landslide triggered by torrential rains in India’s western Maharashtra state has killed ten people, with many others feared trapped under piles of debris

ByRAFIQ MAQBOOL Associated Press

India Weather

Rescuers walk towards the site of a landslide in Raigad district, western Maharashtra state, India, Thursday, July 20, 2023. While some people are reported dead many others feared trapped under piles of debris. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

The Associated Press

RAIGAD, India — A landslide triggered by torrential rains in India’s western Maharashtra state killed 10 people, with many others feared trapped under piles of debris, officials said Thursday.

A team of 60 rescuers and trained trekkers has been deployed to help save people trapped by the landslide, which occurred late Wednesday night, the state’s deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted. Harsh weather conditions have hampered rescue efforts and authorities have sent in medical teams to help the injured, he added.

While 75 people have been rescued, many others are still stuck, an official told the Press Trust of India news agency.

The landslide hit the Irshalwadi village in Raigad district and buried 17 of the 50 houses there.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde arrived at the site on Thursday and told reporters “the priority now is to rescue those still trapped beneath the rubble.”

India’s weather department put Maharashtra on alert as the state has been lashed by incessant rains this week. The downpours have disrupted life for many in the state, including in the capital, Mumbai, where authorities on Thursday shut schools.

Local train services have been disrupted with water flowing inside stations and over tracks, local media reported. Roads have been submerged, causing traffic jams and leaving commuters stranded, as the National Disaster Response Force deployed teams across the state.

Record monsoon rains killed more than 100 people in northern India over the last two weeks, officials said, as the downpours caused roads to cave in and homes to collapse.

Monsoon rains across the country have already brought about 2% more rainfall this year than normal, India’s weather agency said.

India regularly witnesses severe floods during the monsoon season, which runs between June and September and brings most of South Asia’s annual rainfall. The rains are crucial for rain-fed crops planted during the season but often cause extensive damage.

Scientists say monsoons are becoming more erratic because of climate change and global warming, leading to frequent landslides and flash floods in India’s Himalayan north.

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