Search Resumes for Victims of Deadly Indian Landslide

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
August 12, 2021 Updated: August 12, 2021

NEW DELHI—Rescuers resumed their search Thursday for survivors and victims of a large landslide that swept across a highway in the mountains of northern India a day earlier, killing at least 13 people.

A bus, a truck, and two cars were smashed in the landslide in Himachal Pradesh state’s Kinnaur district. Dozens of people are still feared trapped in the bus, which was buried by the debris, a police statement said.

More than 100 rescuers, including police and paramilitary personnel, have been deployed to clear the rubble using four earth removers.

Television images of the disaster showed boulders and rocks rolling down the hillside before crashing into vehicles on the highway.

So far, 14 people have been rescued, said Vivek Kumar Pandey, a spokesman for a paramilitary force involved in the search. They have been taken to hospitals but are not seriously injured, district administrator Abid Hussain Sadiq said.

man-on-bamboo-bridge
A man walks on a makeshift bamboo bridge between inundated houses following the flooding of the River Ganges, in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh state, India, on Aug. 12, 2021. (Amar Deep Sharma/AP Photo)

Meanwhile, heavy rains have lashed another northern Indian state, Uttar Pradesh, with flooding disrupting the lives of more than 500,000 people.

State Relief Commissioner Ranvir Singh said the floodwaters have submerged more than 1,200 villages forcing people to move to nearly 1,000 state-run relief camps.

Eleven of the state’s 75 districts have been hit by heavy rains, with Prayagraj receiving 102 mm (4 inches) of rain in the past 36 hours.

“Floodwaters have entered thousands of homes with people facing problems also because of power outages,” said Abhilash Narain, a Prayagraj resident.

In the landslide-hit area of Kunnaur district, eight bodies were found in a sports utility vehicle, while two bodies were found in the truck, which rolled down to a riverbank. Three more bodies were recovered on Thursday.

Heavy rain has caused several landslides in Himachal Pradesh state over the past few weeks. The region is 600 kilometers (375 miles) north of New Delhi.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) rescue operation at the site of a landslide in Kinnaur district
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel remove a damaged truck during a rescue operation at the site of a landslide in Kinnaur district in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, India, on Aug. 11, 2021. (Indo-Tibetan Border Police/Handout via Reuters)

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

In August, about 150 people were killed by landslides and flooding triggered by monsoon rains in western India’s Maharashtra state.

By Ashok Sharma

The Associated Press
The Associated Press