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15 killed in Kerala landslide

  • Published at 01:46 pm August 8th, 2020
India Kerala landslide
File photo: Rescue workers look for survivors at the site of a landslide during heavy rains in Idukki, Kerala, India, August 7, 2020 Reuters

'Fifteen bodies had been recovered so far and another 51 people were feared to be trapped'

A landslide caused by torrential rains killed at least 15 tea garden workers in the southern Indian state of Kerala on Friday, and rescue workers were searching for more than 50 people thought to be trapped under soil and debris, officials said.

The landslide hit in the early hours as workers slept, in Idukki district, district collector H Dineshan told Reuters.

Fifteen bodies had been recovered so far and another 51 people were feared to be trapped, he said.

"One team of National Disaster Relief Force have reached the site. Helicopters cannot be deployed as the climate is very misty," he added.

Nearly 20 cm of rain fell on Thursday in Idukki district, according to data compiled by state-run weather department. Idukki is about 240km north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.

"The area has received heavy rains over the last two days and the landslides occurred after midnight. Those affected are mostly tea workers who were sleeping," said S Sureshkumar, the district's additional superintendent of police.

In 2018, Kerala was hit by the worst floods in a century. Hundreds were killed, many of them from Idukki district.