Residents of TN's Kayathar in mourning after dozens of relatives feared dead in Kerala landslide
Over 200 people belonging to 50-60 families from Barathi Nagar in Kayathar in Thoothukudi district have been working in the private tea estate in Pettimudi hills for over three generations
THOOTHUKUDI: Residents of Barathi Nagar in Kayathar are in mourning as dozens of their relatives are feared dead in the major landslide in Kerala's Idukki district.
Tamil Nadu Information and Publicity Minister Kadambur C Raju has taken steps to ensure that they are able to cross the state border and reach the spot.
According to Kayathar Tahsildar Baskaran, over 10 of the 17 who have been confirmed dead so far belong to Barathi Nagar. "The relatives gave us 55 names of their relatives allegedly trapped in the landslide. Of the 17 bodies retrieved so far, 10 names matched with those belonging to Barathi Nagar," he told The New Indian Express.
Over 200 people belonging to 50-60 families from Barathi Nagar have been working in the private tea estate in Pettimudi hills for over three generations. They visit their hometown during family functions and festivals, said Barathi Nagar residents.
A relative said they have been unable to communicate with their family members in the tea estate since Monday and came to know of the tragedy only from the media. "We are going to the Pettimudi hills where the tragedy took place. Both the Kerala and Tamil Nadu governments should help us see the bodies of our relatives and should perform the last rites only after we reach there," he said.
A supervisor of the Pettimudi division of the private tea estate told The New Indian Express that eight Tamils belonging to two families of Kayathar had managed to escape the tragedy by emerging out of the rubble in the wee hours. The supervisor also belongs to Kayathar and is currently involved in rescue efforts.
In addition, others who are missing since the tragedy include 14 persons from Pillayarkulam, three each from Sankarankovil, Sivakasi and Tirunelveli, seven from Puliyangudi, eight from Chennai and 14 other Tamils, said the supervisor.
The predawn landslide tragedy happened on Friday burying over four rows of 30 houses including 10 mud tiled houses and 20 steel asbestos houses and a labour canteen belonging to the tea estate. Rescue efforts are ongoing.