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Maharashtra landslide toll rises to 65

Maharashtra landslide toll rises to 65

Pune: The toll in Maharashtra's landslide disaster in Malin village of the district has gone up to 65 Friday evening, rescue officials said.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and other agencies have rescued 23 people from under the debris in the past two days.

The village with nearly 200 people was almost entirely buried under a landslide early Wednesday following torrential rain that had lashed the region.

It has also come to light that more than two dozen people, mostly students from a school, were sleeping on a platform in the village temple premises and may have perished in the disaster.

A majority of them are believed to have be either washed away in the river flowing adjacent to the village or buried with the temple, grieving teachers of the school told media persons.

An NDRF team has launched a search and combing operation along the banks of the river, which is now in spate.

The relief and rescue teams are searching for survivors or bodies of the estimated 130 people who are still feared trapped under the rubble.

NDRF officials Friday said chances of finding any more survivor appear bleak as their gadgets have not picked up any sign or sound.

With no heavy rain and strong winds since Friday morning, the NDRF speeded up the rescue work that will continue till Sunday.

In Mumbai, the Maharashtra government announced an aid of Rs.500,000 to the kin of each of the dead, free medical treatment to all the injured and complete rehabilitation package for the survivors.

The package will include complete repair of damaged homes or rebuilding them afresh, providing all official documents, furnishing all household articles and farming requirements to enable them restart their shattered lives.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh and former union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar visited Malin Thursday and supervised the ongoing search operations.

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