Massive landslide in Kerala reportedly kills 12, over 80 feared trapped

An NDRF team had been deployed, with a second team - based in nearby Thrissur is also on its way. However, some roads have been washed off in the floods caused by the landslide.

Heavy rainfall in Kerala’s Idukki district caused a massive landfall on early Friday morning. At least 5 people have been reported dead and many others are feared trapped. Officials say the landslide happened in the Rajamalai area of the district, which is around 25 km from the tourist town of Munnar. The area has been receiving heavy rainfall for the past 3 days.

According to the latest reports by the Indian Express, 12 bodies have been reportedly recovered so far while ten people have been rescued from the site. Talik officials said that a connecting bridge was swept away yesterday, making access to the area difficult. Rescue teams have also been slowed by tough terrain.

Kerala landslide 1
Kerala landslide stills from Idukki

Between 70 and 80 people lived in the area and there is no way to know how many are trapped under the mud, officials said. According to rescue workers, four lanes of quarters and a church are buried under mud. Injured are currently undergoing treatment at Munnar’s Tata General Hospital. With the Periyavara bridge being washed away, it became all the more difficult for rescue workers to reach the spot. The construction of a new temporary Preiyavara bridge, however, is underway.

A 50-member strong special task force of the state fire service – who have been equipped for night-time work – among those sent, Chief Minister Pinaryai Vijayan said. The Chief Minister’s office has also sought assistance from IAF helicopters to aid in rescue and relief efforts.

An NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) team has reached the landslide site. Chief Minister  Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted that a second-team, based in Thrissur, was also en route and police, fire service personnel, and forest and revenue officials had been instructed to join rescue efforts.

Watch terrifying stills from Kerala Landslide here:

“The situation is really serious,” Revenue minister E Chandrasekaran said. The minister further said that the authorities are trying to airlift those injured.

The entire area’s network and communication have been cut off due to the massive landslide. Currently, 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

The Indian Meteorological Department has forecasted extremely heavy rainfall for Idukki district for today and tomorrow. Among others are Malappuram and Wayanad, warned of heavy to very heavy rain tomorrow.

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