Four people have been killed and two others are missing in Kottayam district of Kerala, and seven people have been reported as missing in Kokkayar in Idukki district after homes were washed away in landslides following heavy rainfall in the area. In Kokkayar, seven people, including five children, went missing after five homes were washed away in the landslide. In Koottickal in Kottayam, a house on top of a small hill in Kavali area collapsed into a stream and was washed away. Four bodies have been retrieved from there, and a search operation is on to locate two people who are still missing. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are being rushed to both areas for search and rescue operations.
In Kokkayar, three houses were washed away and from one home, four children and one parent went missing, from the second house, one adult is missing and from the third house, a 4-year-old child has gone missing. The landslide took place around 10 pm on Saturday, October 16. The first house belongs to Kokkayar resident Naseer and his four grandkids and another adult who was with them are reported missing. One family luckily escaped as they were travelling for a wedding. All the three houses, which were on the banks of Manimalayar river, that flows through central and south Kerala, have been destroyed. High water levels and more chances of landslides have hampered rescue operations in the area.
https://t.co/MJTMvWtJry . കൂട്ടിക്കല് പ്ലാപ്പള്ളിയിലെ ഉരുൾപൊട്ടലിൽ ഒലിച്ചുപോയത് ഒരു കുടുംബം ഒന്നാകെ; വേദനയായി പ്ലാപ്പള്ളി #sijukuriyedamsreekumar #visumexpresso #visumexpressollp #keralaflood2021 #heavyRain #KeralaRains #KeralaFlood2021 #keralaflood #HeavyRainFall #landslide pic.twitter.com/tty0H2muYc— Siju Kuriyedam Sreekumar (@sijusreekumar) October 17, 2021
Officials said personnel of the Army, Air Force and the Navy were on the way to Koottickal and Peruvanthanam — the two hilly villages falling under Kottayam and Idukki districts respectively — where an overflowing river swept through houses, displacing and isolating many.
State Cooperation Minister V N Vasavan, who reached the neighbourhood of these landslide-hit villages, said bodies of two women and a child who died, were recovered while search was on to recover the body of a man who also lost his life in the incident. He said at least 12 people are missing from these villages.
The high ranges of central and south Kerala are experiencing extremely heavy rains, a situation almost similar to what the state faced during the devastating floods of 2018 and 2019. Several people have been injured and displaced in rain-related incidents in the southern state where dams in many districts are nearing its full capacity and small towns and villages in the hilly areas are totally cut off from the outside world.
According to the latest update of the India Meteorological Department, 'Red Alert' was sounded for six districts — Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur and Palakkad districts.