Kerala Rains: 9 dead in major landslide near Munnar, CM seeks help from IAF

Nine people have died, 57 people are still missing after a major landslide in Munnar as heavy rains continues to batter Kerala. The landslide occurred at Pettimudi estate, a tea plantation in Rajamala area near Munnar, where around 80 people reside and several are feared trapped under the debris.

Kerala Rains: 9 dead in major landslide near Munnar, CM seeks help from IAF
"Kerala rains, major landslide near Munnar, "

Around 82 people were living there in four labour camps. We are not sure many people were present there at the time of the landslide. Airlifting of marooned people is not possible right now due to bad weather, said Kerala Revenue Min E Chandrasekharan. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted that an NDRF team had been deployed, with a second team - based in nearby Thrissur - also on its way. 

Five people have died so far in the landslide while 10 have been rescued. A major landslide swept through a tea plantation camp near Munnar in Idukki of Kerala and trapped several people. CM Vijayan has sought the assistance of IAF in rescue operations. "A 50-member strong special task force team of the Fire Force has been dispatched to Rajamalai in Idukki for rescue efforts. 

They have been equipped for night-time rescue activities," he said. Kerala health minister KK Shailaja has said mobile medical teams and 15 ambulances have been sent to Idukki to arrange for treatment for those affected by the landslide. More medical teams will be sent if necessary. KK Shailaja's office has also said that she has directed to equip more hospitals immediately. 

On Thursday heavy rains caused a temporary bridge in Idukki district to collapse, state authorities said. The district also saw floods in low-lying areas like Munnar, which is a popular tourist destination near Rajamala, because of rising water levels of the Muthirapuzha River. 

Night travel has been banned in Idukki district, the state disaster management authority was quoted by news agency PTI, adding that several roads and highways had been closed due to rains. Malappuram district officials have opened nine camps, seven of which are in Nilambur town that was briefly flooded after the Chaliyar River overflowed. 

"A total of 410 people are in the seven camps with adherence to COVID-19 protocol," a district disaster management authority official told news agency PTI. Wayanad district administration has opened 12 camps and shifted at least 560 people. "People from containment zones are kept separately," District Collector Dr Adeela Abdulla said. The district reported heavy rainfall today, visuals from news agency ANI showed.