Rescue operations underway at the site of the Rajamala landslide. (Photo/ANI)
Rescue operations underway at the site of the Rajamala landslide. (Photo/ANI)

Landslide survivors search for missing family members for 5th consecutive day

ANI | Updated: Aug 11, 2020 17:26 IST

Idukki (Kerala) [India], Aug 11 (ANI): As black clouds continued to loom over the site of the tragic landslide in Pettimudi a hamlet in Rajamala area of Kerala's Idukki's district, survivors of the disaster continued to anxiously wait in the rain for the fifth consecutive day, hoping that National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rescuers would save their loved ones from the debris.
So far, the landslide has claimed the lives of 52 people.
Karuppayi, a survivor of the landslide continued her search for her nine missing family members on Tuesday after mud and rocks from the top of this hill covered the four worker quarters, four days ago.
"My children, nieces and nephews were all swept away by the rain and I haven't seen or heard from them since. At night, the terrifying sounds of the rain pouring down from the top of the mountain with a loud noise still ring in my ears. These last five days I have just been waiting for my loved ones without eating. My mind keeps going back to my children who I used to feed," she told ANI in between sobs.

As the rescue mission continues, the air around Pettimudi no longer smells of the aroma of tea leaves nor does the drizzling snow beautify it. The land is in grief, much like Vijayalakshmi, who miraculously survived the landslide, unfortunately leaving behind the rest of her family.
"My young children and grandchildren are all gone. I have lost my whole family of 29 members to this disaster. I don't know what to say or what to do. All of them have died and I have no one left," she said.
On Friday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakhs to kin of the deceased.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his condolences over deaths due to landslide and announced an 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 triggered floods and landslides which have wreaked havoc in the region over the past few days. (ANI)