Munnar landslide: Death toll mounts to 11, rescue operation underway
Floodwaters of river Pampa submerge a bridge in Kottayam district

Munnar landslide: Death toll mounts to 11, rescue operation underway

At least 11 bodies have been recovered from a tea estate in Rajamala area of Munnar where a flood-induced landslide in the wee hours of Friday (August 7) is feared to have trapped more than 70 people.

The 10 people who were rescued earlier have been sent to Tata Hospital in Munnar.

According to the latest reports around 80 houses of tea estate workers (four clusters of 20 shacks each) have been washed away in the flood.

Rescue operation by police and fire service personnel is underway and the district administration has asked hospitals in the region to stay prepared. The state health department has dispatched 15 ambulances and a special medical team to provide medical assistance to those affected by the landslide.

The site of the landslide in Wayanad

“The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been deployed for the rescue operations in Idukki. The team was already stationed in the district. Another NDRF team from Thrissur was also directed to move to Idukki,” Vijayan said in a Facebook post.

In a similar incident, two houses and a few small bridges have been washed away by floodwaters in Meppadi Hills in Wayanadu. However, no casualties have been reported so far. Operations are underway to rescue stranded villagers of Mundakkai village in Meppadi hills.

The India Meteorological Department had issued a red alert (extremely heavy rainfall) for Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki, Wayanad, Thrissur and Palakkad, predicting a rainfall of above 204 mm on Friday and Saturday. An orange alert (very heavy rainfall – between 115 mm and 204 mm) has been issued for other districts. The water level in the sis major dams in Kerala has crossed the flood-warning level and spillways in four dams in Idukki district and one each in Thrissur and Pathanamthitta district have been opened as informed by KSEB.

Munnar MLA S Rajendran told the media that it was difficult to reach the spot as a bridge which provided access to the area was washed away in the rains. “At least 200-300 people live there. There are many lanes and a canteen at the location. We are yet to receive further details. Since one of the bridges to that area was destroyed last night, it has become difficult to access the region,” he added.

“Also, those who are there are finding it difficult to contact us because the only mobile tower there is not functioning properly due to power failure,” Rajendran said. Workers from a nearby estate have rushed to the spot for rescue operations

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