Landslide in Kerala’s Kottayam: Death toll rises to 3, 10 missing

Heavy rain has triggered a landslide at Kottayam district in Kerala on Saturday. The death toll from the landslide site in Koottikkal village rose to 3 after bodies were recovered from the rubble, officials said as they continue the search and rescue operation.

According to Malayalam media outlets, three houses were washed away during the tragic incident. As per reports, 6 people from the same family are also among those who went missing.

The district collector has sought the assistance of the Army and the Air Force for rescue operations. A defence spokesperson said the Indian Air Force and Indian Army stationed in Kerala have deployed their assets.

A CMO release said six teams of NDRF have been deployed in Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Idukki. Two teams of the Army have been directed to be deployed in Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam districts while the air force has been requested to be on standby in case of any emergencies.

“3 houses and a shop were washed away. 3 dead bodies have been recovered. As heavy rain and mudslides are continuing in the area, the rescue personnel are unable to reach the spot. People are completely stranded at Koottikkal,” said MLA Sebastian Kulathunkal.

The southern state Kerala witnessed incessant rain on Saturday due to the Low-Pressure area formed over the Arabian Sea.

Heavy rains started on Friday night and are still continuing with a red alert issued for five districts including Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, and Thrissur.

A video of a KSRTC bus stuck in floodwater and locals trying to rescue passengers from it has gone viral on social media.

(More to follow…)