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Scores trapped as landslide hits Indian village

Diptendu Dutta, AFP file photo I Monsoon season often provokes landslides across India

A landslide hit a village in western India following torrential rains Wednesday, sweeping away scores of houses and burying more than 150 people, an official said.

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Federal rescue workers were being hampered by continuing rains and poor roads leading to the village of Ambe in Pune district in Maharashtra state, where the landslide buried about 40 houses, said local commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh.

“There are constraints. It’s a hilly area and heavy rains are still continuing,” Deshmukh told Indian television station CNN-IBN.

Alok Avasthy, regional commandant at the National Disaster Response Force said that it was difficult to confirm casualties as the village has been cut off from communications.

CNN-IBN said five people were killed in the landslide while another five have been rescued.

The Pune district about is 151 kilometres (94 miles) southeast of Mumbai, India’s commercial capital. The nearest medical centre is about 15 kilometres (9 miles) from the village. About 30 ambulances have been rushed to the scene as well as heavy machinery to try to rescue those feared trapped, a local government official told the Press Trust of India news agency.

Landslides are common in the area during the monsoon season, which runs from June through September.

Almost 6,000 people are presumed to have died during flash floods and landslides triggered by last year's monsoon rains in the northern India state of Uttarakhand.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)
 

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