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Landslide in Himalayas Kills 42

August 14, 1998

NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ Heavy rain triggered landslides in a mountainous region dotted with holy Hindu sites, killing at least 42 people, an official said Friday.

Fifty-four people, including 20 children, were missing in the Garhwal section of the Himalayas, which has been hit by torrential rain since Tuesday.

Landslides swept away homes, knocked down telephone and electricity poles, killed hundreds of animals and blocked roads, said Lalitmohan Upreti, a local official.

Army and paramilitary soldiers dug 15 more bodies from the mud and slush Friday, Upreti said. But rescue work was hampered by the continuous downpour and blocked roads.

All of the casualties were area residents, and none of the many pilgrims who visit this holy region was among the dead.

The area is near Rudraprayag, one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage destinations.

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