The oldest was 65 and the youngest nine. An entire family – grandmother, father, mother, and three girls – were washed away in the rains that caused havoc in parts of Kerala on Saturday, 16 October. The family lived near a church in Kavali, one of the places in Koottickal, Kottayam, where a landslide occurred on Saturday.
Ottalangal Martin’s house was entirely washed away, and with it all six in the family. Three of the dead bodies have been found.
Claramma Joseph (65), her son Martin (48), his wife Sini (37), their girls Sona (11), Sneha (13), and Sandra (9) were in the house when it was washed away. The bodies of Claramma, Sini, and Sona have been identified from among the dead.
Apart from Martin’s family, four others were also reportedly washed away in the rain and landslide that hit Kavali and Plappally in Koottickal.
Three houses next to Martin’s were washed away and the four people missing are believed to have been inside them. Two young people reportedly escaped by holding on to the branches of a tree. No rescue team could reach at the time since all the roads leading to Koottickal were blocked. Cooperation Minister VN Vasavan from Kottayam had told the mediapersons that helicopters carrying forces are expected to join the rescue work soon.
Heavy rains began in Koottickal from early morning on Saturday. News about the landslide came only by 10:30 am. By then the whole town and most parts of the panchayat were isolated with all roads leading to the town blocked.
In another rain-related incident in Muvattupuzha of Ernakulam district, two people died inside a car in Koothatukulam town when the vehicle was washed away. The deceased have been identified as Nikhil Unnikrishnan (30) and Nima K Vijayan (28), who were both working at the Koothatukulam Ayurveda Hospital.
(Published in arrangement with The News Minute.)