The death toll in the landslide at a tea estate in Rajamalai in Idukki district of Kerala rose to 49 on Monday after six more bodies were recovered, according to Idukki district collector H Dineshan. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also resumed rescue operations in Rajamala battling challenges of rain, slush, mud and rocky terrain.
“KeralaRains2020 @NDRFHQ work on site w/State/local agencies. Battling odds of rain/slush/terrain etc. Ops resumed since morning today,” Director-General of NDRF, SN Pradhan, tweeted on Monday.
#KeralaRains2020 UPDATE— ѕαtчα prαdhαnसत्य नारायण प्रधान ସତ୍ଯପ୍ରଧାନ-DG NDRF (@satyaprad1) August 10, 2020
➡️@NDRFHQ @ work on site w/State/local agencies
➡️Battling odds of rain/slush/terrain etc
➡️OPS RESUMED SINCE MORNING TODAY @ndmaindia @HMOIndia @BhallaAjay26 @PIBHomeAffairs @ANI @PIBTvpm pic.twitter.com/KoIk7AhpCS
Two NDRF teams, a full unit of Idukki fire and rescue team, a team each from Kottayam, Thiruvananthapuram, and a team which received special training are leading the rescue operations in Idukki’s Rajamala, the Kerala government had said on Sunday. Nearly 105 members of the Kerala Armed Police, 21 members of the local police, and 10 members of the Rapid Action Force are also involved int he rescue operations.
“Rescue work is on. The latest equipment has reached the site and rescue personnel are cutting big boulders to clear the site. They are also using sniffer dogs,” District collector H Dineshan had said a day earlier.
On Friday, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of those who had been killed in the landslide triggered by torrential rain in large parts of the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his condolences over the deaths due to the landslide and had announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to the families of the deceased.
On Sunday too, rains lashed many parts of Kerala amid weather forecasts of extremely heavy rainfall in six districts. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for extremely heavy rainfall in Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Alappuzha districts.
Rainfall in the southern state is likely to decline from Tuesday, the IMD said.