Visible cracks appeared on the ground in front of a small house that sits close to the Manimala river in Mundakayam, a town located in Kanjirappally taluk of Kerala’s Kottayam district. The river running alongside the house was in full spate, rushing by with strong water currents. As the cracks appeared on the ground, which by then had clearly demarcated the house from the road, the residents in the area knew it was only a matter of seconds before the house collapsed. “Look, it has titled… it is tilting,” a man can be heard crying out in horror in a video that is now being widely circulated. “It is gone,” another man said even before the house collapsed.
In a matter of seconds, the two-storey house, along with its ground floor, tilted and plopped into the gushing river, which swallowed it instantly. The strong water current swept the house away with it, even as the residents stood shocked, wailing at what they just witnessed. It now seems like no house was ever situated there.
The incident took place on the morning of Sunday, October 17. Fortunately, Reji and his family, the residents of the house, were evacuated from the house before it collapsed into the river.
The two-storey house was located in Koottickal near Mundakayam. The first floor of the house was built at the same level as the road, while the ground floor was below and adjacent to the river. The house seemed to have unhinged from the road after it developed deep cracks on the ground of the first floor. As the floods and the landslide in Koottickal — triggered by heavy rainfall — washed the soil along with it, the foundation of the house gave way.
Video: The house collapsed into the river
Anticipating the situation, officials had evacuated the families in the area, which saved the lives of Reji and his family.
Kerala has been witnessing extreme rainfall since Saturday, which caused a series of landslides in various parts of the Kottayam district, including Koottickal and Kokkayar panchayats. The landslide in Koottickal claimed the lives of 12 people, while five died in the Kokkayar landslide. Many children are among those who died in rain-related incidents in Kerala. In the Koottackal landslide, six members of a family — grandmother, father, mother and three girls — died on Saturday. While many residents in these regions survived the landslides and other mishaps, they suffered other major losses — house, car and lifetime earnings. Since October 13, thirty people have been reported dead in rain-related incidents in Kerala so far.