Kerala

Landslips: 5 families rescued in Pathanamthitta

A joint team of government officials and local people rescuing the families stranded near the Panamkudantha waterfalls in Kurumbanmuzhy following a landslip on Saturday evening  

From crossing a river in surging waters to negotiating the forest routes amidst heavy rains in the night, a joint team of government officials and locals emerged as saviours when a fresh spell of heavy rains coupled with landslides struck Pathanamathitta on Saturday evening.

Safer locations

As many as 26 people of five families who had been caught in the landslides near the Panamkudantha waterfalls in Kurumbanmuzhy forests and the Kottamonpara bridge near Seethathodu were rescued during the rescue operations that lasted several hours. The families rescued were shifted to safer locations while efforts are now on to assess the damage sustained.

According to officials, a team of Fire and Rescue Services left for Kurumbanmuzhy following reports of a landslide near the waterfalls by 6.30 p.m. By the time they reached the Kurumbanmuzhy causeway, the pathway had already been submerged by the swollen river.

Based on inputs relayed by the Village Officer Sajan Joseph, who had reached the disaster zone by braving the heavy currents, a 30-member team comprising locals and government officials was soon mobilised and was rushed through the forest route.

The rescue team, which left on board three off-road vehicles with rescue gears, reached the location after an arduous drive lasting over an hour.

“The temporary footbridge that connected the four families to the world outside had been washed away while the flash floods also eroded the top soil on its upper part, further worsening the situation. The Fire and Rescue personnel soon built a wooden bridge across the water body and shifted the stranded persons , which also included a pregnant woman and bedridden patient, to a settlement on the forest fringes,” explained an official.

In Kottamonpara, five members of a family who had been stranded near the site of a major landslide were rescued and shifted to a relative’s house. The flash floods triggered by the landslip had claimed the family’s car while the flood waters also destroyed a rubber sheer drying unit run by them.

District Collector Divya S. Iyer coordinated the various departments during the rescue missions while the Tahsildars of Konni and Ranni taluks coordinated the operation of the Revenue Department at the grassroots. District Fire Officer K.Harikumar led operations of the Fire and Rescue Department.

As per estimates, the Konni region received 7.4 cm of rains in a span of two hours on Saturday. The flood waters also damaged the Angamoozhy-Kottamonpara bridge near Seethathodu.

Minister visits site

Health Minister Veena George visited the disaster struck locations on Sunday. As per preliminary assessment, several houses were damaged and at least three bridges were washed away during the heavy rains and the landslips that hit the district on Saturday.


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 9:48:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/landslips-5-families-rescued-in-pathanamthitta/article37154311.ece

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