The search for missing continues in western India’s Maharashtra state after heavy monsoon rains inundated residential areas across the region. More than 110 people have been confirmed dead, and officials warn the toll is likely to continue to climb.
Rescue teams using borrowed boats and rubber rafts picked up stranded villagers from the rising waters and took them to safety. So far, more than 100,000 people have been rescued from nearly 900 villages. But not even those on high ground were safe. After weeks of heavy rain, the saturated ground on this hillside liquified and gave way – wiping out a village below.
The torrent of mud struck at around 05:30 in the morning. Witnesses say many people were engulfed and swept away as they tried to flee. Others were still asleep, unaware of the wave of debris bearing down on them.
The National Disaster Response Force said they had already recovered more than 40 bodies, but they fear for at least 50 people who are still missing in the sea of debris. There’s little hope that anyone trapped under the mud would have survived.
The army has been brought in to help. As the search continues, anxious relatives wait for news. All too often anxiety gives way to grief.
India’s weather bureau forecasts heavy rainfall to continue for the next few days, and has issued red alerts for several regions.
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