The death toll in the Malin village landslide continued to mount steadily with the recovery of 106 bodies so far, as National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel continued rescue operations for the fifth day, negotiating inclement weather, rain and slushy terrain. The dead include 43 men, 48 women and 15 children, the district control room said in Pune on Sunday.
According to the original estimate by authorities, about 160 people were believed to have been trapped under the huge mound of debris after the massive landslide caused by incessant rain in the area on July 30.
Mass cremations of victims continued at the site today as their relatives watched flames of funeral pyres with vacant faces and dried up tears.
Meanwhile, a team of Geological Survey of India (GSI) led by GSI director general Harbans Singh which visited the mishap site attributed the monstrous landslide that buried over 44 houses to "natural causes" in the wake of continuous heavy downpour in the sloppy region.
It said that continuous flow of rain water saturated available soil along up-slopes of the village which broke loose and eventually flowed down gaining momentum. "The hutments and houses could not withstand force of the mud flow," the team said.
They also cautioned that if rainfall continues for another three or four days there is a possibility of further landslides in adjacent portions where the present landslide occurred and recommended that rescue teams evacuate houses adjacent to the landslide affected zone.