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Landslide in Kerala Updates: Rescue ops to continue overnight, says CM Pinarayi Vijayan; NDRF team arrives at spot

Landslide in Kerala LATEST Updates: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the rescue operations for those stuck in the debris of the Idukki landslide will continue during the night.

FP Staff August 08, 2020 01:16:25 IST
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Landslide in Kerala Updates: Rescue ops to continue overnight, says CM Pinarayi Vijayan; NDRF team arrives at spot

Landslide in Kerala LATEST Updates: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the rescue operations for those stuck in the debris of the Idukki landslide will continue during the night.

"All arrangements have been made to provide enough light at the landslide site in Rajamala, Idukki," he said.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh each for 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, he added.

The Prime Minister's Office on Friday said that an ex-gratia amount 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.

At least 14 people were killed and over 50 others feared trapped in debris after a landslide triggered by heavy rains flattened a row of dwelling units of tea estate workers at Pettimudi in this high-range district in Kerala early on Friday.

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 havoc caused by floods in the previous two years in the state.

Meanwhile, ANI quoted eyewitnesses as saying that they heard a loud sound when the landslide occurred in the Rajamalai ward of the Munnar gram panchayat. "People were running to safety and water was gushing in," one eyewitness said.

Over 70 people were feared trapped soon after the landslide was reported early on Friday. At least 20 houses were buried under the debris, police informed.

The landslide took place at the Pettimudi Division of Kannan Devan's tea estate at Neymakkadu, Onmanorama reported.

The area has been witnessing torrential rains and waterlogging since Tuesday, reports suggested.

The Periyavarai bridge which collapsed in the rain has been repaired temporarily to facilitate the rescue operations.

Forest Minister K Raju said instructions have been given to forest officials and other emergency services to reach the spot and begin rescue operations.

Communication links to the area have, however, been affected as power lines have snapped because of the rains.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted that an NDRF team had been deployed. The Chief Minister's Office has also requested the Indian Air Force to provide helicopters to help in the rescue efforts.

"An NDRF team has been deployed to rescue landslide victims in Rajamalai, Idukki. Police, Fire Force, Forest & Revenue officials have been instructed to join rescue efforts. Another team of NDRF, based in Thrissur, will soon reach Idukki," the Chief Minister said.

The India Meteorological Department(IMD) said a red alert was issued to Malappuram district for 7 August and an orange alert in nine districts of Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod till 9 August.

On Thursday heavy rains caused a temporary bridge in Idukki district to collapse, state authorities said.

The district also saw floods in low-lying areas like Munnar, which is near Rajamalai, because of rising water levels of the Muthirapuzha River.

Night travel has been banned in Idukki district, the state disaster management authority was quoted by news agency PTI, adding that several roads and highways had been closed due to rains.

Malappuram district officials have opened nine camps, seven of which are in Nilambur town that was briefly flooded after the Chaliyar River overflowed.

"A total of 410 people are in the seven camps with adherence to COVID-19 protocol," a district disaster management authority official told PTI.

Wayanad district administration has opened 12 camps and shifted at least 560 people. "People from containment zones are kept separately," District Collector Dr Adeela Abdulla said.

With inputs from agencies

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