Business Standard

Search wound up at landslip-hit Ker hamlet;11 bodies yet to be


Press Trust of India Malappuram
Beneath the piles ofdebris and mounds of mud at a site here lie the remains of 11 people and bereaved families are clueless what to do next as authorities have wound up operations to retrievethe bodies, three weeks after the hilly hamlet was buried under a massive landslip.
Only 48 bodies could be recovered through joint efforts of several agencies including Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Fire and Rescue personnel at the Kavalappara settlement though earth-movers and sniffer dogs were engaged in the mission.
Fire and Rescue personnel have left the rain-landslip ravaged place as they were unable to retrieve the rest of the bodies despite toiling hard for the last three weeks.
Many houses had been buried under 12 feet mud and sticky debris posed a threat to search operations, authorities said.
The family members of the missing people are clueless about their relatives but authorities had no way but to wind up the search as there was no result.
Some relatives visit the site every day with the hope that they will be able to see the bodies of their loved ones for one last time.
Sreeraj is one among them.
He said he had escaped the tragedy as he was away from home as he was working at a different place and the family had planned to meet during the Onam festival, when the landslip struck burying his family.
Fire and Rescue services personnel acknowledged that they were involved in one of their largest search and rescue operations in the state.
In a touching post in the fire force department's official Facebook page, fire fighters said there were limitations to the efforts of human beings and the strength of machines.
"How helpless is man before certain decisions of nature! We return after winding up 18-days long searches for the dead bodies," the post said.
The district authorities recently held discussions with the relatives of the missing persons at nearby Pothukallu and assured them all government aid.
Kavalappara was a bustling 10 acre settlement near Nilambur in Malappuram district till weeks ago but is nowsubmerged by mud and slush.
Heavy rains, which lashed the area on August 8, hadtriggered a massive landslip between two mountain valleysbringing down boulders and huge mounds of earth on the unsuspecting inhabitants.

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First Published: Aug 28 2019 | 6:45 PM IST

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