MUNNAR: At least five persons were killed in a massive landslide, triggered by heavy rains and gusty winds, in the residential area of Rajamala of Idukki dictrict in Kerala on Friday. More than 70 people are feared to be trapped under mounds of mud which buried nearly 20 houses of plantation workers in Rajamala that falls under Munnar gram panchayat.
The district also witnessed flooding in low-lying areas of Munnar near Rajamala, due to the increasing water levels in the Muthirapuzha River. The communication links to Rajamala have been affected as power lines were snapped amid the torrential rains.
Idukki Collector H Dineshan informed that 10 people have been rescued and they have been shifted to hospital. "Some of the injured are critical," he added.
Chief Minister Pinnarayi Vijayan took to his Twitter handle and tweeted, "An NDRF team has been deployed to rescue the landslide victims in Rajamala, Idukki. Police, Fire Force, Forest and Revenue officials have been instructed to join the rescue efforts. Another team of NDRF, based in Thrissur, will soon reach Idukki."
A 50-member strong special task force team of the Fire Force has been dispatched to Rajamala in Idukki for rescue efforts. They have been equipped for night-time rescue activities.
The Minister of Health said that a mobile medical team and 15 ambulances have been sent to the scene of the incident.
The district superintendent of police said that the landslide took place where tea plantation workers live and at least three families are stranded there. Red alert for extremely heavy rainfall warning was issued for Idukki, Malappuram and Wayanad till August 11.
In Ernakulam district, as the water level in the Periyar river rose, the famous Shiva temple on the river bank has been almost submerged and the shutters of various dams have also been opened causing the water level in the Periyar river to rise.