Kerala floods: A Herculean task for rescue team at Kavalappara

Even after four days and deputing 350 personnel, only 19 bodies could be recovered from the debris of the landslide which flattened over 50 acres of land

Published: 13th August 2019 06:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2019 07:58 AM   |  A+A-

Search operations in progress at the landslide-affected area at Kavalappara at Boothanam colony in Nilambur. | (A Sanesh | EPS)

Express News Service

NILAMBUR: It is going to be a herculean task for the rescue team, deputed in Kavalappara, to find the 45 people still trapped under the earth following a landslide. 

The debris of the landslide from the Muthappan hill which fell on the houses of Boothanam colony last Friday flattened more than 50 acres of land in the area.

After four days of rescue operations, the team comprising around 350 officers could recover the bodies of only 19 people. The remaining 44 bodies are still under the earth.

Kerala floods: How negligence and greed led to the Kavalappara tragedy

However, the rescue force cannot be blamed considering the weather condition and the gravity of destruction in the area. They have been putting up extraordinary efforts in the area. 

“Searching in the vast area is a huge task. We are conducting searches in the area where chances of finding bodies are higher as per the opinion of the local people. The continuous rain has been hampering our work. However, we are trying our level best to find the missing bodies,” said an officer of the rescue team that includes Nilambur police and Malappuram Fire and Rescue Services personnel. 

Additional District Magistrate of Malappuram N M Meharali said the district administration will arrange additional vehicles, including JCB and Hitachi earthmovers, to carry out the rescue operations. 

“The rescue team has their own way to conduct the operations, and they are trained for that. The district administration has been arranging all facilities. We recently identified a nearby forest area to shift the mud and trees from the landslide area. The shifting process has already started. The move will help the rescue team to carry out operations speedily,” he said. 

However, the weather condition in the area is not favourable. The rescue team conducted operations from 8 am to 6.30 pm on Monday.

Though there was some rain in the afternoon, it did not affect the operations.

Residents in the area say the rescue team will have to work for at least a month to retrieve all bodies under the earth.

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