‘The entire village had vanished’

Many of the victims were youths who died on the temple premises.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune | Published: August 1, 2014 1:28:22 am
6-month-old Rudra being carried to safety. 6-month-old Rudra being carried to safety.

Ramchandra, 50, and Eknath Zanjare, 25, survived because they had gone to their farm to work. “My farm is within walking distance from the village. I heard a loud sound around 7.30, I rushed back, only to find that the entire village had disappeared,” says Ramchandra.

There were three others with him. “We rescued at least eight people. Two of them looked very critical, the others looked OK,” he says.

He fears several farmers he knew are dead. “Three or four of them met me when I was at my farm. They were returning home for a bath. They must have died at home while taking a bath or breakfasting,” he says.

Eknath says some villagers escaped because Wednesdays have a weekly market nearby. He believes at least 20-25 villagers had gone out. “We are trying to locate them… One of our former sarpanchs too survived the tragedy as he had gone out with his daughter.”
Dilip Lembhe, a villager, says at least 400 people were in the village when the landslide struck. “At least eight of my relatives stayed in the village. They have all died.”

Many of the victims were youths who died on the temple premises. “Every morning, they spent time there,” Ramchandra says. An NDRF jawan says they pulled out bodies in a heap from the temple premises.

Dilip Ambavne, 25, a gram panchayat member from a nearby village, says several villages are on the foothills and vulnerable. “Villages like Asane, Kusure, Sakre, Pepri, Patan and Borghar are all on the foothills from where soil and rock keep falling,” he says.

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