Hundreds of search and rescue teams are still searching for many people missing in a landslide caused by heavy monsoon rains in India, an official said. The total death toll has risen to 27 on the fourth day of search efforts.
A landslide hit the village in an area about 80 km from Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra state, on Wednesday night.
At least 17 of the 48 houses in the village were completely or partially buried under debris, officials said.
"We've so far counted 27 bodies, and about 50 to 60 people are still missing, but there are multiple challenges for rescue work at the site," Raigad official Yogesh Mhase told the AFP news agency on Sunday.
Officials said the rugged terrain made it difficult for rescue vehicles to enter the area. Rainfall and the threat of further landslides caused rescue operations to be suspended overnight.
"We are facing the huge challenge of not being able to carry heavy equipment, which is why everything is being done manually. Rescuers were mostly using rods and shovels," Pramod Kumar Singh of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) told local media outlet ANI.
According to Press Truth of India news agency, 4 children are among the dead. The news agency reported that 75 people were rescued. Four people were hospitalized.
Record monsoon rains have killed more than 100 people in northern India in the past three weeks as torrential downpours caused roads to collapse and houses to collapse, officials said.
India regularly experiences severe flooding during the monsoon season, which lasts between June and September and brings most of South Asia's annual rainfall.
Scientists say monsoon rains have become more erratic due to climate change, leading to frequent landslides and flash floods in the Himalayas in northern India.
Source: Al Jazeera