Another landslide hit Kerala’s Puthukkady, near Vattavada, on Sunday morning, August 7. The landslide damaged the staff quarters of Kannan Devan Hills Plantations (KDHP) and no casualties were reported. Just two days ago, a major landslide occurred at the same spot located near Munnar, from which nearly 450 people from 150 families narrowly escaped. However, three shops, a temple and parked vehicles were destroyed.
According to KDHP sources, people residing in the area were shifted to relief camps on Friday. “The second landslide that occurred on Sunday morning, which brought down with it a huge amount of water and mud, damaged the staff quarters, but no casualties were reported. The debris removal work from the earlier landslide was in progress in the area when this landslide occurred. So the work has been temporarily stopped,” a KDHP staffer said.
After the landslide on Friday night, the road connecting Munnar to Vattavada was completely destroyed. This resulted in Vattavada, Chenduvara, Chittuvara, and nearby areas being cut off from the outside world. According to officials, nearly 150 families had been living in the Puthukaddy area, and a relief camp had been set up at the Chenduvara government higher secondary school. Around 60 people from 17 families have been shifted to the camps, and some of the families have moved in with their relatives, officials added.
K Krishnamoorthi, a resident in Vattavada, said that a huge amount of debris continued to flow into the Puthukkady area, triggering fears of more damage. “The second landslide was bigger than the Friday landslide. The debris filled the entire road and Vattavada was cut off from the outside world,” he said and added that the Munnar-Vattavada road connects people from Vattavada, Chenduvara, Chittuvara, and nearby areas, and post the landslide there was no proper mobile connectivity in the area, affecting the communication. Devikulam MLA A Raja and senior officials of the local administration are said to be monitoring the progress of debris removal and relief works in the area.
A forest department official said that the landslide was triggered by the acacia tree (wattle tree) plantation of the forest area in Puthukkady. The debris flew through the shola forest to tea plantations and arrived at the human settlements. It may be noted that the Puthukkady landslide occurred on the second anniversary day of the Pettimudy landslide which claimed 70 lives on August 6, 2020.
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