Kerala landslide: Death toll rises to 43, CM announces ₹5 lakh solatium

IMD issues red alert for Alappuzha, Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod

Many volunteers have been supporting NDRF personnel in the search operation in Idukki

The death toll in the massive landslide that destroyed a row of 20 houses of tea estate workers in the high range Pettimudi at Munnar in Idukki district of Kerala rose to 43 with 17 more bodies being retrieved from the debris on Sunday (August 09), Indian Express reported. So far, 12 people have been rescued.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and fire and rescue department personnel, along with local volunteers, continued the search operation that was affected by the torrential rain in the area.

“Three days after the settlements were swept away by devastating landslides at Pettimudi near Rajamala, authorities have now decided to take help of sniffer dogs to trace the persons buried under the debris,” officials said.

The incident is said to have occurred in the wee hours of Friday when a huge mound of earth fell on the “row houses” and two children and five women were among the deceased, most of whom were plantation workers from neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

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The Kerala government announced a solatium of ₹5 lakh to the families of those killed in the landslide and ₹10 lakh to the families of those who lost their lives in the plane crash.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan dismissed the Opposition’s allegation that there was discrimination in providing compensation to victims of Rajamala landslide and the victims of the aircraft crash at Karipur.

Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert for Alappuzha, Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod districts and orange alert for Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Palakkad.

All six shutters of Pampa dam were opened as the water level had crossed 983.45 metres. Pampa, Manimalayar and Meenachilar rivers have flooded and people living on the banks are being shifted. About 30 fishing boats have been deployed in different areas of Pathanamthitta for rescue operations.

As many as 103 relief camps have been set up in Pathanamthitta to which 3342 people were shifted until 6 om on Sunday. Those who have been placed under home quarantine were shifted to separate camps, according to the district administration.

The water level in Mullapperiyar reservoir has touched 135.80 ft at 5 pm on Sunday. The maximum permitted level is 142 ft.

A car with a man was washed away in floodwaters at Manarcad area in Kottayam district in the wee hours of Sunday. The NDRF team has launched a rescue operation for the missing person identified as Justin, a native of Angamaly.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Sunday assured support to his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan on rescue efforts following a massive landslide that killed at least 28 people in the neighbouring state.

“I spoke to Hon @CMOKerala today morning about the tragic loss of lives and damages caused due to heavy rain and landslides at Munnar. I promised to provide necessary support in rescue and relief operations,” Palaniswami said on his twitter handle.

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