Published: Mon, August 10, 2020

At least 43 killed in monsoon-triggered India landslide

At least 43 killed in monsoon-triggered India landslide

Twelve people have been rescued and efforts were underway amid continuing rains to locate at least 52 others missing in the first major rain-related mishap since the onset of South-West monsoon last month that brought back memories of the havoc caused by floods in the previous two years in the state.

A youngster who has been rescued and taken to Tata Hospital in Munnar told reporters in Tamil that he had lost his entire family.

The landslide was triggered by heavy rainfall at Rajamala near Munnar and occurred when a hillock at a tea plantation came down, burying a row of quarters of estate workers - 78 people living in 30 rooms-on Friday. Big boulders are also scattered around the site.

Condoling the death of workers in the tragedy, the Chief Minister announced initial solatium of Rs 5 lakh each for the kinof the dead. The government said several other hospitals had also geared up to treat the injured.

In view of the Pettimudi incident, the district collectors have been directed to ensure safety and security of the workers staying in dwelling units in the tea estates. Rs 50,000 will be given to the injured.

Taking to Twitter, Modi wrote, "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", Modi tweeted.

He also said that the NDRF and the administration are working on the ground to provide assistance to the affected. Rescue teams led by NDRF reached the spot in the evening.

Rahul Gandhi, who represents Wayanad in Lok Sabha, in a message said "This is a awful tragedy". The workers and their families were sleeping and a lot of them could not escape.

"The death toll has gone up to 24".

While 12 people were rescued, 42 bodies were found, officials said. "Despite that, our officials, and the NDRF are engaged in search and rescue operations", Idukki District Collector H Dineshan was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

The meteorological department has issued a red alert of extremely heavy rainfall in Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Alappuzha districts.

Communication links to the area have been affected as the power lines have snapped in the rains. The health department has dispatched 15 ambulances and a special medical team.

IMD officials said nearly all districts north of Alappuzha are likely to receive over 20 cms rains.

Six shutters of Pamba dam in Pathanamthitta district were opened this afternoon after its water level rose to 983.45 meter mark, raising concerns about floods in Ranni, Chengannur and Kuttanad regions.

According to reports, over 70 people were in the area when the incident happened. For August 9, an orange alert has been sounded in Pathanamthitta, Alapuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Kasargod districts.

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