The death toll from a massive landslide in a village in western Indian state of Maharashtra rose to 41 on Thursday as federal and state rescue teams scrambled to pull out bodies from the debris amid incessant rains and flowing water.

The tragic catastrophe struck Wednesday morning in Malin village in Pune district, 60 km from Pune city, a popular educational hub and second largest city of Maharashtra state. The landslide took down a massive section of a hillside flattening 45 mud and brick houses leaving them in thick mud and slush.  

According to Prithviraj Chavan, chief minister of Maharashtra state, at least 160 people are feared buried under mud and rocks.

Gas cylinders, slippers, utensils and other household wares were dug out Thursday as rescue personnel from National Disaster Response Force, NDRF, battled against time and whacky weather to trace an estimated 700 missing people of the village. The hope of finding survivors, however, appeared grim on Thursday evening, 30 hours after the worst landslide tragedy to affect Maharashtra state.

Around 250 rescue workers with 100 ambulances worked overnight extracting bodies from the thick mud and rock layer. The 41 dead included 14 women and four children.

Federal home minister Rajnath Singh, who visited the scene of the catastrophe Thursday said that 45 houses and a temple had been flattened in the landslide. Singh offered a compensation of $3,350 to the next kin of each deceased.

“I express my condolences to the bereaved families on behalf of the federal government. The Prime Minister has also assured all possible assistance to the state government in dealing with the natural calamity,” he told reporters after visiting the site.

Singh said it would be “premature” to spell out the reasons behind the deadly calamity, promising an inquiry by India’s Geological Survey. He also said there has to be a harmonious balance between environment and development.

Meanwhile, torrential rains lashed out major parts of Maharashtra state throughout Thursday, ending the possibility of drought predicted by federal ministry of agriculture three weeks ago. 

India’s meteorological department has predicted heavy rains in parts of Maharashtra in the next 24 hours, advising people to remain indoors and avoid travels.