The heavy rains and the landslide triggered by the showers had caused major damages in Kerala's Idukki district as at least 15 people have died on Friday while over 50 others have been trapped under the rubble, leaving the state government to deploy the teams of the National Disaster Response Force for the rescue operations.
According to the reports, the 15 deceased include five women and two children and the landslide had occurred in the wee hours of Friday where a huge mound had fallen on the row of houses in Pettimudi, Rajamala in Idukki district, which killed 15 and most of the deceased were plantation workers from the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu.
The state government said it had deployed the teams of the National Disaster Response Force to the spot and it also has requested an Indian Air Force chopper to cover the rescue operations in the hilly areas. The reports close to the development said twelve people have been rescued from the debris and the efforts are in place to locate and rescue 52 others who are still missing.
Issuing the confirmation, Idukki district collector said that the bodies of the victims have been recovered and twelve people have been rescued with injuries and they were taken to hospitals. The reports stated that the India Meteorological Department has spelled a red alert for Idukki on Friday, which further exemplified the continuation of the rainfall.
The mishap was first informed to the authorities by a forest watchman following which the state health department had deployed 15 ambulances and a special medical team to provide medical assistance to the affected people and the Chief Minister's office had approached the Air Force for a chopper to rescue the stranded in Idukki.
Taking to the social media, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the team of National Disaster Response Force, which was already stationed in Idukki, had been deployed to the spot and another team in Thrissur has been ordered to arrive in Idukki to carry out the rescue operations. The reports further added that the mud filled cooking utensils were found in the area which was housing around 80 workers who were working at the tea plantation, which is about 30 kilometers from Munnar.
As the incident had recapped the devastations witnessed by the state for the past two years as the sequel of the south west monsoon, the landslide had shocked the state amid the Coronavirus outbreak. Munnar legislator Rajendran said it has become difficult to access the area as the bridge that was connecting the region was destroyed by heavy rains. The reports added that the electriciy connection was cut off in the region for the past four days, which burdened in informing the concerned authorities about the landslide.
Pained by the loss of lives due to a landslide in Rajamalai, Idukki. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly. NDRF and the administration are working on the ground, providing assistance to the affected.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 7, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and said, "Pained by the loss of lives due to a landslide in Rajamalai, Idukki. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly. NDRF and the administration are working on the ground, providing assistance to the affected."
Ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakhs each would be given to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to a landslide in Rajamalai, Idukki. The state government will bear the expense of treatment of those injured due to the landslide: Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister, #Kerala https://t.co/S5YSX2xog6— ANI (@ANI) August 7, 2020
His office tweeted, "Ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to a landslide in Rajamalai, Idukki. Rs. 50,000 each would be given to those injured due to the landslide". The Kerala Chief Minister announced Rs 5 lakh for the victims and the state government will bear the expense of treatment of those injured due to the landslide.