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Pune landslide rescue operations were the 'largest ever'

Thursday, 7 August 2014 - 8:49pm IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

If the tragedy was of mammoth size, so were the rescue operations at Malin village following the landslide in Pune district on July 31.

More than 2500 personnel from government and non-government agencies and 335 officers were involved in what could be termed as the biggest rescue and relief operation after a landslide in this part of the country, Pune district collector Saurabh Rao said in a press conference on Thursday. While 8 persons could be saved in the first couple of days, a total of 151 dead bodies—89 women and 57 men were removed from the mud, boulders and slush that buried Malin village.

As per the officials, 146 bodies could be removed while limbs of five unidentified persons were also found. Of the 146 dead, only 104 could be identified. The rescue operations were finally stopped on Wednesday evening, Rao said.

Malin village has seven hamlets (wadis) and main Malin Gavthan out of which Malin Gavthan was the most affected by the landslide. There were 109 properties out of which 72 were hit by the land-slide. There were 16 properties which were either unused and empty, or were being used as cattle-shed or storage. There were 40 families which were affected by the land-slide and the administration has ascertained each and every family of the village while preparing the record.

Rao informed that there were 8 guests in the village in addition to 141 villagers who lost their lives in this tragedy. Ironically, the guests were in the village for the tenth-day rituals after the demise of a villager.

Of the 21 primary school students in the village, only two have survived and 19 have died in the tragedy. Of the 19 children between 0 and 6 years, 12 have died and 7 escaped the death. Out of 15 high-school students in Malin village, only 6 have survived while 9 lost their lives in the tragedy.

As for the material used for rescue and relief operations, the administration used up 18,100 litres of diesel, 200 litres of petrol, 6000 litres of kerosene and 12 truck loads of wood between 11 am on July 31 to 7pm on Tuesday, August 6 during the rescue and relief operation

Villagers reject relocation venue
Rao said that after organising a meeting of villagers with officials from the Zilla Parishad, district administration and NDRF officials, it was decided to organise temporary shelter for the villagers. He said that since villagers were not ready for re-location at Dimbhe, which is down the hills, the decision would be taken by the Government after due consultation with the villagers and elected representatives.

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