Body of 6-month-old baby recovered, Kerala landslide death toll rises to 43
Sniffer dogs were used by the rescue team to help retrieve many of the bodies, after a colony of tea plantation workers was buried under slush after heavy rains triggered the landslide on Friday, they said.Updated: Aug 09, 2020 21:13 IST
Rescue workers have found 16 more bodies from the landslide site in Rajamalai in Kerala’s Idukki district, bringing the death toll to 43, as they continued to look for more than 30 people who are still missing, officials said on Sunday.
Sniffer dogs were used by the rescue team to help retrieve many of the bodies, after a colony of tea plantation workers was buried under slush after heavy rains triggered the landslide on Friday, they said. A portion of Pettimala hill caved in razing the settlement of tea plantation workers.
Minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedhran, who belongs to Kerala, and opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala visited the site.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued alerts for heavy rainfall in several districts of the state, which continued to be lashed by downpours. A red alert was issued for Alapuzha, Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod.
The weather department has issued an orange alert for Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Palakkad and a yellow alert for the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram.
The number of missing people is likely to go up as many students staying in hostels had returned to their homes in the area due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Idukki district administration has said.
The estimate of the missing people is based on the employment registry of the workers’ employer, Kannan Devean Hill Plantation (KDHP) Limited. But local leaders said many like students and guests are not accounted for in the registry.
Officials have said at least six teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are involved in the rescue operations in Idukki.