Fifteen people have been killed and around 50 others are feared trapped after a massive landslide razed a tea plantation workers’ settlement in Rajakkad in Idukki district of Kerala in the early hours of Friday.
According to reports, at least 16 people were rescued and rushed to the hospital, said Idukki district collector H Dineshan, adding that heavy downpour and foggy climate in the area is hampering rescue operations. He said the tragedy came to light in the morning after one of the escaped workers alerted forest officials at the Eravikulam national park.
“It is a major tragedy. It is a hilly terrain and some roads connecting to the settlement were washed away in torrential rain. We have sought the Air Force help for airlifting the injured but we were told it will be difficult in inclement weather,” said State Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan adding a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has arrived at the scene.
The place where the incident took place is about 25 kilometre away from hill resort Munnar which was ravaged by 2018 flood.
The India Metrological Department (IMD) has declared red alert in three districts, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Idukki, and orange alert in five other districts. Many rivers are in spate after heavy downpour and the irrigation department said shutters of some dams, including Idukki, will be opened if the wet condition continued.