Traffic on National Highway from Munnar to Adimaly has come to a standstill after a major landslip near Cheeyappara, about 25 km from Munnar.
Personnel from the Fire and Rescue Services Department said traffic had been disrupted since late Sunday night due to landslips triggered by continuous rain during the day.
Several stretches of road have been flooded and traffic was being diverted through interior roads from Kothamangalam and Thodupuzha. The national highway faces threat of land erosion at several places as heavy rains continued to pound Idukki district on Monday.
Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash, who was on his way to the site of the landslip at Cheeyappara, said the services of the Central forces had been sought for rescue operations and he was in touch with Defence Minister A.K. Antony. The State authorities have warned tourists to keep away from Idukki district for a while as incessant rain continued on Monday.
The site of the landslip has turned into a sea of anxious people, watching the rescue operations. The police and fire and rescue personnel engaged in clearing the rubble on roads are braving heavy rain and ankle-deep slush.
Tourists visiting Munnar usually stop at Cheeyappara waterfalls. Many of those who were buried under the rubble are believed to be tourists and shopkeepers and workers engaged in clearing an earlier landslip.