Death toll in Raigad landslide climbs to 26, rescue ops on

The Raigad police officials recovered three more bodies, taking the toll to 26, as per the State Disaster Management Authority

Raigad: With the recovery of three more bodies from the debris at the landslide-affected Irshalwadi village in Maharashtra’s Raigad district, the toll increased to 26 on Saturday, an official said.

Of the three victims whose bodies were pulled out since the morning, one was man and two women, informed Raigad police officials.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has resumed its search operations today morning.

Making a statement in the legislature, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said that there were 48 families with 228 members living there of which around 18 homes were caught in the hillslide.

While 21 people have perished in the tragedy, 98 have been rescued and five are injured. A search is on for the remaining 108 still trapped there.

In a significant initiative, Shinde said the government has taken a decision to permanently resettle people living in such landslide/hillslide-prone areas in the state to safer locations.

The concerned officials have been directed to submit details of all such villages and hamlets at risk of landslides-hillslides after which the necessary measures will be taken to move them permanently to alternative, safer places.

The CM said that the Irshalwadi vicinity was not included in the potential fissure-prone areas in the Geological Survey of India report.

The second day of search and rescue by SDRF, NDRF, fire brigade, specialists, and others continued to be hampered by bad weather conditions, including heavy rains, foggy atmosphere and lack of proper equipment in the inaccessible terrain, forcing manual digging work.

Situated at a considerable height on hilly slopes below a cliff, the remote tribal hamlet does not have a pucca road, which hampered the movement of cranes, porclains, JCB, earth movers, ambulances and other heavy equipment to help the rescue teams.

In another scare, boulders came crashing from an adjacent hill in Morbewadi but there were no reports of any casualties. The area has been lashed by over 50 cm rains in the past three days.

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