The fury of the rains seems to have reduced in Kerala and rescue operations are on in Puthumala and Kavalappara, both of which were hit by massive landslides. With more bodies being retrieved from Kavalappara in Malappuram district, the death toll in the state now stands at 108.
Meanwhile, the search is on for seven people who are believed to be underneath the rubble of the landslides in Puthumala, Wayanad. No bodies have been recovered in Puthumala in the last four days despite active search operations. Although sniffer dogs were brought in to aid operations, the attempt failed as the dogs were not able to enter the area due to the slush. Rescue operations will continue on Friday with earthmovers and tractors.
As of 9 pm on Thursday, Malappuram had the highest death toll at 45, and 26 people are still missing in Kavalappara. Close to 1.59 lakh people are in 1,000 relief camps in the state.
On Thursday, State Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel held an all-party meeting at Kavalappara which discussed the steps that need to be taken.
"We will ensure the rehabilitation of all people who have lost their homes, and we plan to entrust the building of new homes to an agency. The search operations for the bodies will go on till the last body is recovered," said KT Jaleel.
Kadakampally Surendran, state minister for the Department of Co-operation, said in a Facebook post on Thursday that the department will build houses for all those people in Malappuram who have lost homes. The houses will be built by including it under the Care Home project of the department.
During his address on Independence Day, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan recalled the Kavalappara incident and mentioned the mosque in the area that allowed the autopsy of landslide victims to be conducted on its premises.
(With inputs from IANS)