IDUKKI: The death toll in the landslide at Pettimudi settlement in Rajamala near Munnar climbed to 52 after National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel and the fire and rescue service team pulled out three bodies from the nearby stream on Tuesday morning.
Searches are continuing to locate 19 more persons who went missing from the after the devastating landslide that hit the tea workers settlement on August 6 night
With the recovery of three bodies more bodies, the death toll in the tragedy rose to 52. According to the Idukki district administration officials, the searches are continuing to retrieve the remaining 19 residents who are still missing.
On Tuesday morning, the rescue personnel recovered the bodies from the Pettimudi stream nearby that flows near the workers' quarters. The bodies were found around four km from the quarters.
The stream flows into the Muthirapuzha river which is a tributary of the Periyar. Rescue workers said that as the debris flow was heavy, the water could have swept away some of the victims into the river. This will make the search an arduous task as they will have to extend it to the downstream areas of the river.
A 52-member NDRF and fire and rescue teams, which are leading the search and rescue efforts along with police, forest, revenue, health and panchayat officials and NGO activists have been carrying out the efforts to trace the missing persons.