A massive landslide in the Idukki district of Kerala has aggravated concerns, as the death toll roses to over 55 on Thursday, while 15 more are still buried in the debris and are yet to be found.
The landslide in Pettimudi area in Munnar has claimed the lives of 55 people, among whom 17 were children including 10 kids under the age of 15. Many are still under the debris and are yet to be found, The News Minute reported.
The incident took place on August 6, when a landslide was triggered from the forest region, with a huge chunk of rocks and sludge crashing down on several houses of tea plantation workers in Munnar.
The debris buried many people alive for hours and some for days. The children were at home amid the ongoing lockdown and shutdown of schools.
Soon after the landslide, residents living in single-room quarters were rescued while the other 70 were reported missing.
The media identified the names of the children whose bodies have been retrieved that included Vishal, age 13, Lakshana Sree, age 7, Sanjay, age 14, Vinodhini, age 14, Rajalakshmi, age 12, Joswa, age 14, Vijayalakshmi, age 8, Gayathri, six-month-old, Nadiya, age 12 and Lakshana Saree, age 9.
According to the report, of the 32 children who attended school, mostly belong to Dalits families from Tamil Nadu, 17 were studying in residential schools and some were living in hostels attached to schools.
"Although the schools were more than 20 kilometres away, two children used to commute to Carmelagiri CMI Public School daily as their father is a driver. Many parents enrol their children in schools that have hostel facilities. Two children, who were studying in Tamil Nadu, had also come home due to the lockdown," S Hepsi Christinal, Munnar block programme coordinator, spoke to TNM.
Apart from them, there were students studying in various colleges, who had come to their home this year due to the pandemic and became the victim of the unfortunate incident.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday assured those who have lost their quarters to a devastating landslide will be given alternate lands and homes by the state government. He said that the government would follow the same approach it had taken in the wake of the landslide in Kavalappara last year.
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