Stranded tourists rescued from resort in Idukki

Stranded tourists rescued from resort in Idukki

A view of a flooded locality after heavy rains, at Elloor in Kochi on Friday. PTI

A group of 54 tourists including 24 foreigners who were stranded following a landslip near a private resort in Pallivasal, in Idukki district, were rescued on Friday.

The resort where the tourists, including a four-member family from Russia and a couple from the US, were staying was cut off after rubble blocked roads leading to the property, early on Thursday.

Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran confirmed on Friday that all the tourists were rescued. A team of Army personnel were involved in the rescue operations. The minister said the resort was built illegally.

“The state government had ordered the closure of the resort, citing the possibility of such disasters. It was staying open after the proprietors secured a favourable court order,” Surendran said.

Idukki, one of Kerala’s most popular tourist destinations, has been the worst-hit in the recent spell of heavy rain. Officials said 12 people died in landslips in the district during the past two days. The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has issued advisories seeking caution from tourists who visit hilly regions of the state.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala has sought cancellation of the Tourism Department’s annual Onam celebrations in the wake of floods and rain-related damage.