Search resume for deadly Indian landslide victims


New Delhi — Rescuers cleared highways in the mountainous regions of northern India on Thursday and resumed a search for survivors and victims of a major landslide that killed at least 13 people.

A landslide in the Kinauru district of Himachal Pradesh destroyed buses, trucks, and two cars. Police statements fear that dozens of people may be trapped in a bus buried in the wreckage.

More than 100 rescue workers, including police and paramilitary personnel, have been deployed to clear debris using four earth removal devices.

Television images of the disaster showed rocks and rocks rolling down the hillside before hitting a vehicle on the highway.

Vivek Kumar Pandey, a paramilitary spokesman involved in the search, said 14 people had been rescued so far. They were taken to the hospital and were not seriously injured, said district manager Avid Hussein Sadik.

Man on Bamboo Bridge
A man walking on a makeshift bamboo bridge between flooded houses after the Ganges flooded in Playagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India, on August 12, 2021. (Amar Deep Sharma / AP Photo)

Meanwhile, heavy rains struck another state in northern India, Uttar Pradesh, and floods disrupted the lives of more than 500,000 people.

State relief commissioner Ranvir Singh said the floods submerged more than 1,200 villages and forced people to move to nearly 1,000 state-owned relief camps.

Eleven of the state’s 75 districts have been hit by heavy rains, and Playagraj has received 102 mm (4 inches) of rain in the last 36 hours.

“The floods have invaded thousands of homes with people who are also facing problems due to power outages,” said Abilash Narain, a resident of Playagrazi.

In a landslide-stricken area of ​​the Knaul district, eight bodies were found in a sports utility vehicle and two bodies were found in a truck that rolled down a riverbank. Three more were recovered on Thursday.

Heavy rains have caused several landslides in Himachal Pradesh in the past few weeks. The area is 600 kilometers (375 miles) north of New Delhi.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) rescue operations at a landslide site in the Kinauru district
On August 11, 2021, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) officials removed a truck that was damaged during a rescue operation at a landslide site in the Kinauru district of northern Himachal Pradesh, India. (Distribution via Indo-Tibetan Border Police / Reuters)

Disasters caused by landslides and floods are common in India during the June-September monsoon season.

In August, about 150 people were killed in landslides and floods caused by monsoon rains in Maharashtra, western India.

By Ashok Sharma

Associated Press