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More bodies recovered in massive landslide

KATMANDU--Rescuers recovered nine more bodies Monday from a massive weekend landslide in northern Nepal, raising the official death toll in the disaster to 19, but say there is no chance of finding alive any of the more than 150 people believed still buried under the rubble.

Police and army rescuers helped by villagers resumed their search for victims through piles of rock, mud and upturned trees Monday, two days after the landslide crushed dozens of houses in the village of Mankha, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Katmandu, Nepal's capital.

The bodies of six women and three children were recovered Monday afternoon, said Nepal's Department of Natural Disaster Management.

Meanwhile, in neighboring India, authorities evacuated tens of thousands of villagers, fearing that floodwaters from Nepal could reach there.

Gopal Parajuli, the chief government administrator in the area where the landslide hit, said rescuers were using bulldozers and excavators to dig through the debris in some areas. They were also trying to carve out temporary roads to reach people stranded on the other side of Arniko highway, a route that connects Katmandu with northern districts and the border with China.

The landslide blocked a mountain river, causing it to back up and form a lake that was threatening to burst and sweep away several villages, although Parajuli said the water level was slowly falling.

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Nepalese soldiers carry a dead body through the mud and debris after a landslide in Mankha village, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Katmandu, Monday, Aug. 4. Nine more bodies were recovered from the site of the landslide on Monday.

(AP)

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