Kottayam: At least nine people died and nearly 12 were missing in landslides and other rain-related incidents on Saturday in Kerala.
Kottayam, Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts are experiencing heavy rains and landslides forcing the authorities to seek the help of defence forces for rescue operations.
Reacting to the incidents, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who convened an emergency meeting to assess the situation, said the situation is very serious.
However, the latest weather predictions indicate that the situation will not worsen, he added.
The emergency meeting also reviewed the rising water levels in major dams in Kerala. The meeting also directed to evacuate people from flood areas immediately.
State Revenue Minister K Rajan reached the Kottayam collectorate to coordinate rescue operations in the hilly districts experiencing incessant rains and landslides.
The rescue operations are being affected due to adverse weather conditions in some areas as the rescue team could not reach there, sources said.
“The bodies of seven people have been recovered from Koottikkal where landslides were reported. The bodies of Clarama Joseph (65), her daughter-in-law Sini (35) and her daughter Sona (10) were identified. The other four are yet to be identified,” sources said.
In another incident at Kanjar in Thodupuzha of Idukki district, a car was washed away in floodwaters. Two people died in this tragic incident and their bodies were also recovered.
Meanwhile, a driver of a state-owned KSRTC bus attached to the Poonjar bus depot was suspended from the service for bringing the vehicle to a low lying area causing a threat to the passengers. Later, the bus was stuck in floodwater and all the passengers were rescued by the locals.