Kerala Landslide: 6-Month-Old’s Body Pulled Out; Death Toll at 48

Heavy rains, landslides and flooding have affected Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

6 min read
Rescue operation continued in Kerala’s Idduki district despite heavy rains.

The death toll in Kerala landslide rose to 48 as rescue workers recovered five more bodies on Monday, 10 August, reported ANI.

During search operations on Sunday, a six-month-old infant’s body was pulled out from the debris. The infant’s mother Gayatri and the rest of the family also died in the landslide that hit Rajamalai in Kerala’s Idduki district on Friday, 7 August due to torrential rain.

Despite heavy rains, rescue workers continued their search for the third consecutive days to locate those who are still reported missing.

Several states in South India, like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, continue to witness heavy rains, landslides and floods.

The Indian Meteorological Department has issued Red and Orange alert for heavy rainfall in various districts of Kerala, with red alert issued in Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki and Wayanad districts.

According to ANI, the Central Water Commission has informed that river Cauvery at Napoklu in Kodagu District, Karnataka is very likely to cross its highest flood level by Friday evening.

Kerala CM Announces Ex Gratia, Shares Weather Impacting Rescue Operations

“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,” said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, according to ANI.

He further added that the state government will bear the expense of treatment of those injured in the landslide.

The Kerala CM went on to state that adverse weather conditions was impact rescue operations.

“Adverse weather condition is slowing down the operations to rescue people affected due to landslide in Rajamala, Idukki. The state government has sought the help of Air Force but adverse weather condition is not conducive for air lifting people.”   
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, according to ANI.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami has assured support to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan in rescue and relief operations.

PM Modi Announces Ex Gratia Relief

In a tweet on Friday, PM Modi condoled with the bereaved families and announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives in 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.”   
PM Modi

He also said, “Rs 50,000 will be given to those injured due to the landslide”.

Rescue Operations Continue In Kerala

The landslide happened in the Rajamalai district of Kerala, which is around 25 kms from the town of Munnar, reported NDTV, quoting officials.

Around 70-80 people lived in the area, said the officials, adding that it is difficult to determine how many people may still be trapped under the mud.

They further said that a bridge connecting the town was swept away due to rains and the landslide, which was making access to the area difficult. Ten people have been rescued so far.

Forest officials and other emergency services personnel have reached the spot, and the government has also sought help from IAF helicopters to conduct rescue operations.

A 50-member team of fire and rescue officials have been sent to the spot, tweeted Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan.

Flood Alert In 20 Tamil Nadu Villages

A flood alert has been issued in more than 20 villages in western Tamil Nadu.

Due to heavy rain in Udhagamandalam, over 50,000 cusecs of water was flowing into the Bhavani River, revenue officials told The News Minute, on Thursday, 6 August.

The river water, thereafter, reached Lower Bhavani Project Reservoir at Bhavanisagar.

The level of the reservoir touched 92.77 feet, as against its full capacity of 105 feet. The officials told TNM that if the inflow continues to increase and the level rises upto 100 feet, water would be released from the reservoir into the river.

The Nilgiris also recorded over 111 mm of rain Thursday.

Power supply continues to be disrupted in the area and over 600 trees were reportedly uprooted. Landslides were also seen in the areas of Avalance and Emerald.

About 300 people have been evacuated from the area so far and people have been asked not to step out unless its an emergency. The heavy showers are expected to continue till Saturday, 8 August.

Heavy Landslide, Flooding In Karnataka

Rains also continued to batter coastal and northern Karnataka. Many houses were submerged in places like Sringeri, Mudigere, Koppa, Kigga and also in parts of Kodagu, Shivamogga, Belagavi and Bellari, reported The News Minute.

According to Karnataka Chief Minister’s Office, Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa spoke to the Chief Secretary over the phone to take stock of the flood situation in Karnataka.
The Chief Minister’s Office also reportedly informed that Yediyurappa instructed “that the Chief Secretary can proceed with emergency measures without waiting for his approval.

BS Yedyurappa has, further, released Rs 50 crore for flood-relief work. Another Rs 10,000 has been announced as immediate relief for families affected by floods. Rs 5 lakh will be given to those whose houses have been damaged.

The chief minister has further instructed that schools, colleges and public places be used to to shelter those affected, even as several such facilities are being used as COVID-19 centres in the state.

Electricity remains cut off in districts like Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Chikkamagaluru and Belagavi, as winds uprooted trees and power cables. Restoration work is also difficult given the circumstances.

Further, landslides were also seen in the districts of Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru.

There is a red alert in place in the coastal, central, and south interior parts of Karnataka, as the state braces for further rainfall for the remainder of this week.

Trains Diverted

Five trains have been diverted due to the collapse of a part of the tunnel wall inside Pernem tunnel between Madure and Pernem station of Karwar region in Maharashtra following heavy rainfall on Thursday, informed the Ministry of Railways, according to ANI.

The traffic in this section remains suspended until further notice, said the Ministry of Railways.

(With inputs from NDTV, The News Minute)

‘Deeply Anguished’ Politicians React

President Ram Nath Kovind took to Twitter to share his sadness over the lives lost due to the landslides in Kerala

Kerala Landslide: 6-Month-Old’s Body Pulled Out; Death Toll at 48
“Sad to hear about the loss of lives due to a landslide in Rajamalai, Idukki (Kerala). Thoughts and prayers with the bereaved families; wishing the injured an early recovery.”   

Union Home Minister Amit Shah also tweeted his condolences to the kin of those who have lost their lives in the landslide.

Kerala Landslide: 6-Month-Old’s Body Pulled Out; Death Toll at 48
“Condolences to the bereaved families of those who have lost their lives in Rajamalai, Idukki(Kerala) due to landslide.Have spoken to DG NDRF, their team has reached the spot to provide all possible assistance to the administration with the rescue work. May injured recover soon.”   
Home Minister Amit Shah

BJP leader Jagat Prakash Nadda took to Twitter to share that he was deeply anguished by the loss of lives, and to urge his party workers to “provide all possible relief, following all health protocols”.

Kerala Landslide: 6-Month-Old’s Body Pulled Out; Death Toll at 48

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan reportedly lauded the dedication of rescue teams.

Kerala Landslide: 6-Month-Old’s Body Pulled Out; Death Toll at 48
“Hon’ble Governor Shri Arif Mohammed Khan lauded the dedication of rescue teams at Rajamala, Idukki, where landslide claimed 14 lives and rendered many people missing. NDRF, Police, Fire Force, Forest, Revenue depts and local people are working hard to save lives, he said.”   
PRO, Kerala Raj Bhavan   

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