Seychelles sympathises with India as rescue efforts continue following landslide disaster
Excavators remove mud and debris from the scene of the landslide in Malin village in Pune district of India's western state of Maharashtra on July 31, 2014. Rescuers battled through heavy rains in a desperate search for victims of a landslide in western India that buried dozens of homes, with fears the death toll could reach 150. (AFP PHOTO/ INDRANIL MUKHERJEE)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The authorities in India say hope of finding more survivors following the major landslide in Western India this week is fading, as bad weather hampers rescue efforts.
Rescuers are searching through the mud and debris which now remains where once stood Malin Village, near Pune in Maharashtra state.
The landslide which hit the village early in the morning while people were still sleeping is thought to have covered dozens of houses and the tribal community of around 150 to 200 people.
According to AFP, "some fifty bodies and eight survivors have been pulled from the site so far, but incessant rains and strong winds have hampered rescue efforts."
The 8 survivors were pulled from the rubble only a few hours after the tragedy but no more survivors have been found in the last 40 hours, according to the BBC.
The dead bodies recovered so far include some 22 women, the same number of men and 6 children.
It is feared that the death toll could reach up to 150.
In a press statement issued this morning, the Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the island nation’s President James Michel has conveyed heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the government and people of India following this tragedy in a message addressed to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with you, the families that have lost loved ones and with the Indian people in these gravest of moments. We are very much hoping for a positive outcome in the rescue efforts and we are certain that the resilience and indomitable spirit of your nation will overcome in these dark times,” said Michel in the message.
Flooding and landslides causing buildings to collapse are frequent during the monsoon season in India.
Another landslide in the eastern state of Odisha yesterday cut off about a dozen villages, while another in the northern Himalayan state of Uttarakhand killed at least five people.
Last year, a landslide and flooding disaster in the same Uttarakhand is thought to have killed nearly 6,000 pilgrims, tourists and others.