Shimla, August 13: At least 46 people were confirmed dead in the landslide in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi on Sunday. According to news agency ANI, few more are still feared to be trapped under the debris. The rescue operation was suspended late in the night. Officials said it would resume early in the morning on Monday.

“46 bodies are recovered so far. The rescue operation is suspended for the day. Tomorrow, we will search for bodies under debris again,” said Mandi’s Superintendent of Police Ashok Kumar.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh visited the site in Mandi where the landslide occurred. While addressing the press, Singh said the victims who lost their houses will be provided compensation to rebuild them. He assured that the rescue operation to evacuate people from the debris of the landslide will continue till the last body is recovered.

Considering the gravity of the situation, National Disaster Relief Force and Indian Army personnel were roped in by the administration. Locals also aided the relief agencies in removing the debris. Singh was quoted by ANI as saying, “Rescue is on, the police and the Army is there. The local people are also helping. The relief announcement will be done by the Government as per the schedule.”

Expressing grief over the incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said, “[I am]Pained by the loss of lives due to landslide related accidents in HP’s Mandi district. My condolences [are] with the families of the deceased. I pray for the quick recovery of those injured in Mandi district, Himachal Pradesh. Team of NDRF is going to Mandi to take part in the rescue and relief operations and provide all possible assistance required.”

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi expressed condolences to the bereaved families. Gandhi said, “My condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in Mandi. Request Himachal govt. & local Congress units to provide all possible help,”

The incident took place in the Urla area of Mandi where two buses passing through Pathankot-Manali National Highway were washed away in the muddy water due to a reported cloudburst. The Mandi district administration has issued help line numbers 1905- 226201, 226202, 226203, 1905- 235538 and 094180-01051.

(With inputs from ANI)