Red alert again in Kerala, Death toll reaches 94

Malappuram: A view of a flood-affected region in Malappuram district, Kerala. (PTI Photo)

As five days have passed after the major landslides in Kerala, efforts to trace over 55 missing people have resulted in retrieval of decomposed bodies, even in parts.

Though there was a respite from rains for a couple of days, the IMD forecasts extremely heavy rains in Malappuram and Kozhikode in North Kerala on Wednesday, and a red alert has been sounded again in these districts.

Many low lying areas of the state like Kuttanad in Alappuzha in South Kerala remain flooded. Rains were reported from many parts of Alappuzha and Kollam on Tuesday also.

According to official figures, the death toll until Tuesday evening was 91. However, there were reports that three more bodies were recovered by evening increasing the total to 94.

Kerala Chief Minister Mr Pinarayi Vijayan visited the landslide-hit areas on Malappuram and Wayanad and assured that the government would ensure proper rehabilitation.

The Cabinet meeting on Wednesday is likely to announce the initial assistance and rehabilitation plans.

At Kavalapara in Malappuram where around 40 persons were still missing, four bodies were recovered on Tuesday. A decomposed body was recovered in parts on Tuesday morning. Though the body could not be identified, from the earrings recovered from the body it was suspected to be that of a woman.

Three bodies, suspected to be that of an army personnel's family members, were reportedly recovered by Tuesday evening. DNA tests might be required to confirm the identities of the decomposed bodies, said revenue department sources. 

Though the rescue workers spotted many houses beneath the debris of the landslide, no one could be found inside the houses. Hence it was suspected that many might have been caught up in the debris while trying to escape from the landslide.

About ten persons were missing from various others parts of Malappuram district, while seven were missing at Puthumala in Wayanad.

Meanwhile, a section of local people at Puthumla and Kavalapara were expressing displeasure that no massive search operations for the missing persons, or at least their bodies before being decomposed, were being initiated.

As many as 2.26 lakh persons stayed at 1,239 relief camps across the state. As many as 1,057 houses are completely damaged and 11,159 houses are partially damaged in the natural calamities so far.

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