India landslide death toll rises to 14
The death toll in the northern India landslide has risen to 14, with the recovery of three more bodies from the hilly site in the past 24 hours.
“The three bodies were recovered during the day as rescue operations had to be halted last night due to the fear of more landslides in the state of Himachal Pradesh,” a senior government official said on Thursday.
“At least 20 to 30 people are still feared buried at the site,” he added.
The huge landslide struck a passenger bus and few other vehicles on the Reckong Peo-Shimla highway in Kinnaur district, some 200 kms from Himachal Pradesh’s capital Shimla, on Wednesday afternoon.
Apart from the local police, the para-military Indo-Tibetan Border Force (ITBP) was soon pressed into rescue operations.
The Indian Prime Minister’s Office later tweeted to say that Narendra Modi had taken stock of the situation.
“PM @narendramodi spoke to Himachal Pradesh CM @jairamthakurbjp regarding the situation in the wake of the landslide in Kinnaur. PM assured all possible support in the ongoing rescue operations.”
Himachal Pradesh is experiencing the heaviest monsoon rains in recent decades. Just last month, another landslide claimed the lives of nine tourists visiting the state.
Not only Himachal Pradesh, the western Indian state of Maharashtra also witnessed heavy monsoon rains in July. More than 100 people lost their lives in the state in last month alone due to rain-related incidents like floods and landslides.