Many untold stories of narrow escape at Kavalappara

Sini who resides at Kavalappara recollected how she and family prepared themselves to succumb to nature's fury.

While the landslide at Kavalappara at Malappuram in North Kerala claiming over 50 lives has many heart-rending stories of losses, there are also untold stories of many like Sakeena and Sini who had a narrow escape from the jaws of death.

It was by around 2.30 p.m. on the ill-fated day, August 8, Sakeena's father Shoukath came to their house and asked Sakeena and her three daughters to immediately shift to their nearby ancestral house owing to the rough weather. Sakeena's husband Faizal was not at home as he works at Mangalore.

Within hours, they heard the loud noise of rocks and earth caving in. Their house was among the 44 houses that were fully buried by the earth, rocks, and trees that caved in.

"If my husband was at home, he might have insisted on staying there itself. By God's grace, we had a narrow escape, even when our house and our neighbours met with the tragedy," Sakeena told DH. Sakeena and her daughters Fazna, Fahna and Farsha were yet to come out of the shock.

Sini who resides at Kavalappara recollected how she and family prepared themselves to succumb to nature's fury. "On hearing the thundering sound of the landslide, we had no option to run out with my aged mother. So myself, my husband Sandeep, mother Santhamma and daughter Sreelakhsmi remained in the house, preparing ourselves to accept the fate. But the landslide stopped just near our house. Out of the 12 houses in our area, eight were damaged. We luckily escaped unhurt, but are yet to be relieved from the shock," said Sini.

There are many like Jishnu and Sunil who lost all members of the family in the landslide. While Jishnu lost his parents and two siblings, Sunil lost his father, wife, son, sister, brother-in-law and their children.

In view of the mental trauma faced by the people, especially those who lost many members of their family, voluntary organisations are conducting counselling sessions. Various cultural activities were also being organised at the relief camps to relieve the people from the stress caused by the tragedy.

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