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Landslip death toll five

Staff Reporter
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Government announces Rs.10,000 as interim relief

: Rescue workers unearthed one more body from Friday’s landslip-hit Naalam block in Puthakulam ward, near Paingottur here, as the death toll in the rain-triggered calamity rose to five on Saturday.

The body of Iype, 54, who went missing on Friday evening when the tragedy struck, was fished out by Fire and Rescue Services personnel at 10.15 a.m. He had returned home early from work following incessant rain in the area. His wife’s body had been recovered last night. Hectic search to trace Nalini of Kaduvakuzhi house who was reported missing was called off around 6.30 p.m. It will resume on 7 a.m. Sunday.

Joe Kuruvila Easo, divisional officer of the Fire and Rescue Services, Ernakulam, told The Hindu that huge boulders and mud spread over the affected regions had made rescue operations difficult. Nearly 45 personnel of the Fire and Rescue Services from stations in Kothamangalam, Muvattupuzha, Kallurkkadu, Piravom, Gandhi Nagar, and Thodupuzha were involved in the rescue and relief work. The landslip occurred at 4 p.m. on Friday, he said.

A 15-member team of the Navy was also present at the site to assist in the rescue work. Representatives of various political parties, elected members of Puthakulam, Manipara, and Kadavoor North wards were also cooperating in the rescue operations.

Rehabilitation

Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash, who visited the landslip-hit area on Saturday morning, said financial assistance of Rs.10,000 each would be given as interim relief to the kin of those killed in the calamity. A Cabinet meeting to be held on August 22 will decide on the rehabilitation package for people who had lost their shelter, he said.

The Minister said the government would undertake the hospital expenses of Rajesh, 28, of Kaduvakuzhi House who lost his leg after mud and debris smashed his house and claimed the lives of his parents on Friday evening. He was shifted to a private hospital in Kochi city on Saturday morning.

Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said rescue and relief operations were on in full swing in the region. Free medical treatment and support would be given to those injured in the accident, he said. Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar said the Chief Minister had already made it clear that efforts would be made to construct houses for those who had lost their shelter. Ernakulam Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareed said the bodies would be kept at the Government Higher Secondary School at Kadavoor at 10 a.m. on Sunday for the public to pay their homage.

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