The death toll in Idukki landslide rose to 54 with two more bodies being recovered on Wednesday as life limped back to normalcy in Kerala amidst a decrease in rainfall.
In Idukki district, the bodies of two men and a woman were recovered from debris on Tuesday as rescue operations continued to trace those missing in the landslide that occurred on August 7.
Search operations are still underway to trace at least 16 more people missing at the site of landslide that devoured a huge settlement in Rajamala’s Pettimudi where tea estate workers have been staying.
Personnel of NDRF, fire, forest and police departments have expanded their search operations to the downstream of a river in their efforts to trace those still missing in the tragedy.
The likelihood of finding bodies in good condition is fading fast considering that the bodies have been under mud and rubble for six days since the occurring of the incident and also because they have been dragged down long distances.
As many as 20 houses with nearly 70 to 80 people staying in them are said have been reportedly buried under the mud.
As many as 12 people were rescued.
Torrential rains pounded Pettimudi in Rajamala in the high range Idukki district, triggering a landslide in the wee hours of Friday. About 30 km from the popular tourist destination of Munnar, the tragedy took place when big boulders came down on four lines of estate houses.
While the Kerala government has announced an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the bereaved families, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced Rs 2 lakh for each family.
Meanwhile, reports stated that the water level at Mullaperiyar reservoir in Idukki district reached 136.85 feet on Tuesday.
Subsequently, the Idukki district Collector held discussions with the Collector of Theni (Tamil Nadu) regarding the release of water through the tunnel to Vaigai dam.
With a let-up in the rains, water receded in many low-lying areas of Kottayam and Alappuzha districts of Kerala.
There was no red alert warning in any of the state’s 14 districts as the intensity of rains had decreased and the affected areas had started limping back to normalcy.
NDRF teams also carried out search and rescue operations in rain-hit Alappuzha’s Kuttanad and Kottayam’s Teekoi.
Meanwhile, the flood situation worsened in Assam and Bihar, affecting lakhs of people.
In Assam, nearly 14,000 people across three districts have been affected.
More than 75 lakh people have been affected by floods in Bihar. At least 24 people have died in the state.