Death Toll Rises From Landslide in India

By Mark Leberfinger, Staff Writer
August 1, 2014; 4:53 AM ET
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As many as 68 people have been reported dead from Wednesday's mudslide in Malin village, part of the Maharashtra state of India, Indian officials said Friday.

Continued heavy rainfall over the coming weekend is expected to further hinder weather for search and rescues as well as clean up efforts.

Only eight people had been rescued, India's National Disaster Response Force said on its website.

An elderly Indian woman cries as she searches for surviving family members in the debris of her home, destroyed by landslide in Malin village, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. With 70 homes buried and reports of another 158 hit by the landslide, rescuers anticipated more dead in the village, home to 704 people in the foothills of the Sahyadri Mountains. (AP Photo/Press Trust of India)

More than 5.3 inches of rain fell on Wednesday in Mumbai, the nearest weather observation point roughly 80 km (50 miles) east of Malin, according to Meteorologist Erik Pindrock.

"Given the monsoon comes into Mumbai on southwest to west-southwest winds, it is a reasonable assumption that heavy rain also played a factor with this landslide," Pindrock said.

RELATED: Extended Forecast for Mumbai
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As moisture goes into the mountains, the air rises and condenses, Pindrock said.

"It squeezes the atmosphere and more rain comes out," he said.

A landslide expert told The Times of India that cultivation and the uprooting of trees on the hillside also were responsible for the landslide. Meteorologist Courtney Spamer contributed content to this story.


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