A day after the District Administration ruled out any possibility of survivors among the over 120 men, women and children believed to be buried under the mud and rock debris of the Malin village landslide, death toll in the disaster reached 86 today, officials of the National Diaster Response Force (NDRF) who are carrying massive rescue operation in the village since Wednesday said. ’72-hours have passed since the tragedy and search operation will continue for the next three to four days, but its unlikely that we will be able to locate any survivors in the slush now. Our priority is to search all the bodies buried under the mud and rock debris,’ said an NDRF officer who was supervising rescue operation in Malin village. District Collector Saurabh Rao said, ‘we are carrying out serch opration in levels and are co-ordinating ground search with the NDRF. We are also in communication with relatives of those feared killed for identification.’
Meanwhile, the District Administration will be setting up various help desks near the site of the landslide for the deceased’s kin. ‘The deceased’s kin will be given information about the operation and status of their relatives. We will also be getting the information from them. Another help desk for assistance in the form of food and medical help will also be set up,’ disctrict officials added.
Meanwhile a villager from Malin has alleged that authorities have not used heavy earth moving machines for removing the debris despite the facility being available with the Maharashtra Government and private infrastructure companies.
‘It would have been very helpful to remove the heavy debries within short time and would have also saved more lives,’ he said. NDRF personnel have continued rescue operations till today and few NDRF personnel were deployed along Bubra river, which runs in the valley in front of Malin village, anticipating that some bodies may have been swept into the river. A total of nine teams, comprising 378 NDRF personnel were brought to the site of the landslide to work on alternate shifts. Alok Awasthi, Commandant of NDRF’s Talegaon base is supervising the operation. ‘Continued heavy showers have been posing grave problems, but our teams have been working at the site round the clock. Four earth movers have also been put into action to remove debris,’ Awasthi said.
SS Guleria, deputy inspector general (operations) with NDRF said, ‘heavy downpour and difficult terrains are definitely an obstacle, but our teams are well trained and equipped to handle the situation.’
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