MUMBAI, India (AFP) ― A major landslide on Wednesday struck a village in western India following heavy monsoon rains, leaving 150 people feared trapped, a rescue official said.
The landslide submerged Malin village in Pune district of Maharashtra state, said Alok Avasthy, regional commandant at the National Disaster Response Force.
“Civil authorities say around 42 to 50 houses are affected. One hundred fifty people are feared trapped. We have sent two teams,” Avasthy said.
He said that it was difficult to confirm casualties as the village has been cut off from communications.
Indian television station CNN-IBN said five people were killed in the landslide while another five have been rescued.
Heavy machinery has been mobilized to try to rescue those feared trapped, while about 30 ambulances have been rushed to the scene, local government official Saurav Rao said.
“Exact number of causalities is not known as we are moving slowly to ensure that those trapped are removed safely,” district collector Rao said.
Heavy rains have been falling for days in Maharashtra as a result of the annual monsoon.
Almost 6,000 people are presumed to have died during flash floods and landslides triggered by last year’s monsoon rains in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand.