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Idukki Landslide: Death toll mounts to 42; search operation in full swing

The last rites of the bodies recovered in the past two days were conducted on Saturday, the administration said.

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Idukki Landslide: Death toll mounts to 42; search operation in full swing
Rescue operation underway at the landslide site in Rajmala, Idukki. (Photo: ANI)
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The death toll in the landslide at Idukki`s Rajamala rose to 42 after 16 bodies were recovered on this day, the district administration said on Sunday.

"Death toll rises to 42 in Rajamala landslide incident after 16 bodies were found today," the District Collector of Idukki told news agency ANI.

The last rites of the bodies recovered in the past two days were conducted on Saturday, the administration said.

Kerala Forest Minister K Raju is expected to visit the spot later on Sunday.

The search operation is underway for the missing people in the landslide. Rescue and search operations in Pettimudi had resumed yesterday early in the morning. Two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are involved in the rescue operation.

The total damage in the Idukki district was extensive. The bridge over the Periyar river was washed away. It was reported that a total of 78 people had been injured in the tragedy. A red alert has also been issued for Idukki and all of North Kerala. The districts which fall under the red alert zones include Malappuram, Wayanad, Kannur, Kasaragod, and Kozhikode. The IMD has also sounded orange alerts for the districts of Kottayam, Ernakulam, Palakkad, Thrissur, Pathanamthitta, and Alappuzha.

On Friday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakhs to kin of the deceased.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed his condolences over deaths due to landslide in Idukki and announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakhs each from Prime Minister`s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) to the kin of deceased.

Heavy rains in several parts of Kerala have triggered floods and landslides which have wreaked havoc in the region over the past few days.

 

(With agency inputs)

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