Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 7: At least 15 people have been killed after heavy rain caused a landslide in Kerala’s Idukki district early this morning, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Friday evening, While announcing Rs 5 lakh as compensation for the families of those killed, the chief Minister said that the cost of treatment will be borne by the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted Friday afternoon to say he was “pained by the loss of lives” and to announce compensation, from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund, of Rs 2 lakh each to family members of those who had died and ₹ 50,000 to those who were injured.
Fifteen others have been rescued so far and are undergoing treatment at the Tata General Hospital in Munnar. An NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) team is engaged in rescue operations.
Officials say the landslide happened in the Rajamalai area of the district, which is around 25 km from the tourist town of Munnar. Around 80 people lived in the area, officials said, adding that they do not know, at this point, how many more are trapped under the mud.
A connecting bridge was swept away making access to the area difficult.
A 50-member strong special task force of the state fire service – who have been equipped for night-time work – are among the emergency services personnel sent, Chief Minister Pinaryai Vijayan has said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted that a second team, based in Thrissur, was also en route and police, fire service personnel and forest and revenue officials had been instructed to join rescue efforts.
A 50 member strong special task force team of the Fire Force has been dispatched to Rajamalai in Idukki for rescue efforts. They have been equipped for nighttime rescue activities. #KeralaRainspic.twitter.com/olo1eraMNV