NEW DELHI (AP) — A landslide hit a remote village in western India following torrential rains Wednesday, sweeping away scores of houses and possibly trapping more than 150 people, officials said.
One hundred rescuers reached the area and more were on the way, however, their progress was being hampered by continuing rains and bad roads leading to Ambegaon, a village in Pune district in Maharashtra state where the landslide buried about 40 houses, said Alok Avasthy, a National Disaster Response Force commander.
The landslide hit the village early Wednesday morning but news and details on the extent of the damage only began to trickle out several hours later, he said.
"It's surrounded by hills and the area is very remote and rural, so it's taking us time to get there," he said.
Poor phone signals also were hampering the rescue operation.
Avasthy said he was leading a team of 150 rescuers but they were having trouble communicating with the first batch of 100 responders already in the area. They were assisting local police and medical teams who began clearing the debris.
"It is a small village and this happened very suddenly," local legislator Dilip Walse Patil told CNN-IBN TV network.
Landslides are common in the area during the monsoon season, which runs from June through September.
The Pune district about is 151 kilometers (94 miles) southeast of Mumbai, India's commercial capital. The nearest medical center is about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the village.