Kerala rains: 50 feared trapped in landslide at Malappuram’s Kavalappara

According to unofficial reports, 10 people have died in the calamity.
Kerala rains: 50 feared trapped in landslide at Malappuram’s Kavalappara
Kerala rains: 50 feared trapped in landslide at Malappuram’s Kavalappara
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In one of the major flood-related calamities to hit Kerala this year, as many as 30 families are feared trapped underneath a landslide in Kavalappara at Bhoothanam, Malappuram and 10 people have reportedly died.

According to locals, as many as 50 people are missing, who have not been located either in the relatives’ houses or in relief camps.

Mathrubhumi reports that 10 people have died in the catastrophe. The landslide occurred within a one-kilometre area at around 8 pm on Friday, and the heavy rains that continued on Saturday morning in the region are hampering rescue operations.

The news of the landslide was sent out only hours after the incident as communication was totally cut off. 

“We could reach here only now, we couldn’t reach as the bridge has collapsed. There are 70 houses in the area and 50 of them have gone under the soil. People were not able to shift out as it happened in the night. We tried calling the people who live here, but their phones were switched off. We don’t have any information on whether they have been shifted to someplace. We had gone to the relief camp at Koolappada in Chettipuram… but they were not there. Their relatives from other places had come here in search of them,” the local people who gathered at the spot told Asianet News.

“They are our acquaintances, there is one person who runs a tea shop… There are around 30 houses and 50 people underneath the soil,” they said.

The reporting team reached the spot by travelling in the vehicle of Nilambur MLA PV Anwar.

From the location, PV Anwar told Manorama News that the situation in the area is grim and rescue operations are hampered because of the rains and mudslide. “It is more than a landslip or landslide — the earth has swallowed an area of 100 acres that have been swept away. The people who shifted to relief camps are safe and those who got trapped were the people who didn't shift. Nothing can be done if the water doesn’t recede. If we use rescue equipment, they would also get stuck in the mud and water,” the MLA said.

A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) reached the spot on Friday night itself and they are on the way back to the spot on Saturday morning.

“But we don’t have clear information on the number of causalities as rescue operations are not complete,” an NDRF personnel told TNM. Since reaching the spot still remains a difficult task, the exact details on the number of people who are trapped are not known.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday told media that an alert was sounded for people of Kavalappara to shift them to relief camps, but “those who got stuck in the unfortunate incident were unwilling to shift.” The authorities have been urging people not to hesitate to shift to safer places.

Kavalappara escaped the deluge in August 2018 and last year, other parts of Malappuram were badly affected. Nilambur town has also been completely devastated in this year’s floods.

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