Death toll in Kozhikode landslide mounts to 13

Death toll in Kozhikode landslide mounts to 13

The death toll in last week’s landslide at Kerala's Karinchola village in Kozhikode district touched 13 on Sunday. The body of Aziya was recovered from under the debris, three days after the incident.

The landslide which happened in the early hours of Thursday had destroyed three houses. Another person reported as trapped under the debris remained untraced. Between Thursday and Saturday, 12 bodies were recovered. A team of the National Disaster Response Force is coordinating rescue and rehabilitation efforts in the village.

The first spell of the southwest monsoon has left a trail of death and destruction in Kerala, with unofficial reports putting the toll in rain-related incidents at over 35.

Heavy rain since the onset of the southwest monsoon, on May 29, has battered the state’s northern districts and caused severe damage to roads in the region. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, seeking a repair of the Perumbadi-Makkoottam road on the Thalassery-Mysuru inter-state highway. Vijayan’s letter came following a directive by the Kodagu Deputy Commissioner, banning vehicular traffic on the stretch for a month.

“When roads to Wayanad were damaged in the rain, Kerala initiated maintenance works and made them motorable to ensure that traffic resumed on the interstate highway. No ban was imposed on roads connecting Karnataka,” the Chief Minister said.

Between June 1 and 13, the state has received 40 % excess rainfall, in comparison with the long period average. The Meteorological Centre in Thiruvananthapuram has forecast heavy rainfall in one or two places till June 22.