People in dire straits as landslides snatch lives

Landslide-hit Thora village in Virajpet taluk.

Families that fled to safety fearing flood had to face the wrath of landslides at Thora village in Kodagu district. 

Four persons went missing, including Prabhu’s mother, wife and two children and Prabhu is searching desperately for the family members. “Why did God keep me alive?” he asked with tears in his eyes. 

The bodies of two members of the family of Paramesh at Thora were retrieved on Friday. The eight missing members of the families of Prabhu and Harish are yet to be traced. The NDRF, Army and police personnel carried out search operations for the third day on Sunday. 

Prabhu was earlier residing at a place where tragedy hit in the past. Later, he constructed a house on the foot of a hillock two years ago, 2.5 km from the tragedy site and was leading a contented life through farming and running a shop. But the floods and landslides took away his family.  

When the water level increased, many people in Thora village forced him to shift to his old house. “As the old house was situated at a safer place, heeding the elders in the village, we family members shifted to the old house. Who can survive when a hillock caves in on the house,” he asked. 

“On Friday morning, I had been to my new house to collect a few documents. By the time I reached, the whole village had disappeared. About 300 persons in the village had escaped somehow. My family is stuck in the landslide,” he told the rescue team. 

Not only people have gone missing. Vehicles like bikes, cars and jeeps have also been buried in the landslide. One cannot identify Thora village as only one house is visible there now. 

Humanity goes for a toss

The video of a security guard at the crematorium in Virajpet, demanding a bribe of Rs 8,000 to cremate the bodies of landslide victims Mamatha (40) and Likhitha (13) has gone viral on social media. 

The man who shot the video has expressed displeasure at MLA K G Bopaiah and MP Pratap Simha. Later, with the help of locals, the cremation was carried out. Deputy Commissioner Annies Kanmani Joy has directed the police to file a case against the person who demanded the money. 

Comments (+)