Nine people killed by landslide in northern India state, Himachal Pradeshin, as country battles days of heavy rain

Nine people have been killed in a landslide in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh after boulders fell and hit a vehicle they were travelling in.

News agency ANI reported that the vehicle was carrying 11 people and the two survivors were injured in the incident.

Citing the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the agency said officers went to the site near Badseri Village, in Kinnaur, to conduct a rescue operation.

Some local media said the people in the vehicle who were killed were visiting from the Indian capital Delhi and elsewhere in India, while one of the injured was a local person.

Video footage showed boulders falling, hitting vehicles and even causing a bridge to collapse.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter: “The accident caused by a landslide in Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh is very sad.

“My heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in this. All arrangements are being made for the treatment of those injured in the accident.”

The incident comes as India battles days of landslides and flooding triggered by heavy monsoon rains, which have killed at least 113 people and injured 50 others in the western part of the country.

A government spokesman said more than 130,000 people were rescued from nearly 900 affected villages across Maharashtra state, including in Ratnagiri district and Kolhapur.

The navy also deployed helicopters to evacuate stranded people and sent rescue teams with boats to the region.

Officials said one of the worst-hit villages was Talai, 168 miles (270km) south of Mumbai, where 59 households were buried by a massive landslide on Thursday.

Rescuers recovered two more bodies on Sunday, taking the number of villagers killed to 42, with around the same number still missing.

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State official Sagar Pathak said inclement weather, difficult terrain and large debris were hampering rescue efforts.

Disasters caused by landslides and flooding are common in India during the June-September monsoon season, when heavy rain weakens the foundations of structures that are often poorly built.

Experts say heavy rainfall along India’s western coast is in line with how rainfall patterns have changed in the region in past years due to climate change, as the warming Arabian Sea is driving more cyclones and more intense rainfall over short periods of time.

Last weekend, more than 30 people were killed in landslides in and around Mumbai.

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