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Death toll reaches 21 as search resumes for people missing in landslide in Kerala’s Idukki

More than a dozen have been rescued and are under treatment in various hospitals in Idukki, Kottayam and Ernakulam districts, since Thursday midnight the tragedy struck Rajamalai.

SNS | New Delhi |

A massive search operation using man and machine, is underway on Saturday to find 50 odd people reported missing after a landslide in Kerala’s Idukki district. While bodies of 18 people who were under the debris have been recovered so far. 3 bodies were recovered today morning after the rescue operation resumed, taking the death toll to 21.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD, meanwhile has predicted that rainfall will continue for the next two days in Idukki and Wayanad districts.

“Kerala – Idukki (Peermade)-176 mm, Kannur(Irikkur)-173, Kasargode(Vellarikkundu)-162, Kottayam (Poonjar)-141, Kottayam (Kumarakom)-82, Kozhikode (Kakkayam)-258, Palakkad(Adakkaputhur)-117, Pathanamthitta (Seethathode)-111, Wayanad (Padinjarathara_dam)-158, Kollam (Valiyapadam)-51, Ernakulam (North Paravar)-129, Allappuzha (Kanjikkazhy)-79, Thrissur(Poringalkuthu)-79, Chalakkuddy-81,” the IMD tweeted.

More than a dozen have been rescued and are under treatment in various hospitals in Idukki, Kottayam and Ernakulam districts, since Thursday midnight the tragedy struck Rajamalai.

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.

State Minister for Electricity, MM Mani, who hails from the district said the state government will do everything possible to help the victims, so would the Tea company, that owns the estate.

“The exact number of missing will have to be ascertained by the tea company, as it’s their residential lines and the local village council will also have to work with them. The chances of getting a survivor from the debris is slim now,” said Mani.

The massive search exercise is being carried out by a huge number of rescue personnel drawn from the NDRF, Kerala Police, Fire Force, locals and volunteers.

While the Kerala government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to each of the deceased’s families, the Centre has announced Rs 2 lakh each.

(With IANS inputs)