At around 11pm on Wednesday, a landslide struck the hillside tribal village in Khalapur Tehsil, Raigad district, approximately 80 km from Mumbai.
Of the town’s 228 residents, authorities have recovered the bodies of 16 people and 93 residents have been successfully located. The whereabouts of 119 villagers are unknown, including those who had left the village to attend a wedding or to work on a rice plantation.
Of the nearly 50 houses in the town, 17 were swept away by the landslide, authorities said.
He National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) together with the Raigad police teams and local authorities started the operation for the second day in the remote village.
“At least four NDRF teams arrived at the landslide site this morning and started the operation. Teams from the Thane Disaster Response Force (TDRF), local disaster management authorities and Raigad police are also taking part in the operation,” an official said.
The search operation began at 6:30 am, Raigad Police Superintendent Somanth Gharge said. “We have hired a dog squad to assist staff in the search operation,” an NDRF official said.
“Among the deceased were four children between the age group of one to four years and one person in his 70s,” he said, adding that seven people are receiving treatment at various hospitals. Search and rescue personnel at the site faced obstacles due to the area’s difficult mountainous terrain where heavy equipment cannot be easily moved. “Incessant rain, fog and gusty winds at the top of the hill, those involved in the search and rescue operation are facing difficulties,” the official said.