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Nearly 50 dead after landslide buries 2 buses in India

By Ray Downs
Members of the Indian Army and rescue teams work at the site of a landslide in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India, on Sunday. Reports indicate nearly 50 people were killed when two buses were hit during the slide. Photo by Sanjay Baid/EPA
Members of the Indian Army and rescue teams work at the site of a landslide in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India, on Sunday. Reports indicate nearly 50 people were killed when two buses were hit during the slide. Photo by Sanjay Baid/EPA

Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Nearly 50 people are believed to be dead in India after a monsoon caused a landslide that buried two busloads of passengers in Himachal Pradesh state, officials said Sunday.

"Forty-six bodies have been recovered, and of these 23 have been identified," one official said, according to the Times of India.

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Efforts to remove passengers from the debris and find survivors were hindered by heavy rains and threats of more landslides. Some vehicles and houses were also washed away.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh visited the site and said the government will pay for medical treatment of those injured.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to offer his condolences.

"Pained by the loss of lives due to landslide related accidents in [Himachal Pradesh]'s Mandi district," he wrote. "I pray for the quick recovery of those injured in Mandi district."

Although monsoons are common in India, a recent study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that they have strengthened in the country over the past 15 years, resulting in a reversal of a "50-year drying period during which the monsoon season brought relatively little rain to northern and central India."

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Last year, nearly 500 people in India died due to flooding and thunderstorms.

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