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Woman with 2-month-old baby swims to safety, pregnant woman

Press Trust of India 

: Amid the mayhem caused by landslides and floods in Kerala where 72 people have so far lost their lives, acts of courage by young mothers are coming out from the disaster-hit parts of the state.

Clutching her two-month-old baby close to her chest, 25-year-old Prajitha swam across a nearby rivulet to escape the worst landslide that had hit Wayanad.

Her effort to save her child came up before media on Sunday, sending a chill down the spine, even as the young mother is yet to recover from the shock of escaping death with her baby and family.

The heavy rains and massive landslides have turned Puthumala at Meppadi in Wayanad into a mound of mud and filth, flattening several houses, uprooting trees and washing away all the signs of an inhabited village.

Located over 20 km away from district headquarter of Kalpetta, Puthumala was rocked by a series of massive landslide following heavy rains on August 8.

Authorities are yet to ascertain the gravity of the incident in which over 100 acres of land, the plantation and structures were suspected to have been buried under soil when a portion of a hill came down completely, grounding every structures in the valley, eye-witnesses had said.

"We heard a loud noise. Baby was in the cradle. I grabbed my child and ran out of the house. We fell into the water and somehow managed to swim to safety," Parajitha told media.

A young mother Prajitha, who is still recovering after a caesarean section, said she and her family ran for their life after hearing the sound of the lamp-post being shaken and the roar of the running water.

She stays with her parents and her grandmother.

Prajitha is also the mother of a three-year-old boy.

"After reaching safety, we ran through the forest," her mother Yesodha said.

A visibly shaken Prajitha said the whole night they could hear screams from across the land.

After they rested for a while near the landslide-hit area, they reached reached the relief camp later.

In the remote Attapady, a tribal hamlet, in Palakkad district, a pregnant woman, was rescued by the Army and NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) personnel on Saturday.

A rope was tied across the swollen Bhavani river and using harness the woman was brought to safety.

Her 11-month-old child, husband and other family members were also rescued in a similar way.

Meanwhile, there were celebrations at a camp in Kozhikode as one-year-old boy Vagmayi celebrated his first birthday.

Though there was no cake to be cut, the family instead managed to get some buns and biscuits for their child.

"He was born four days before the August floods last year. Within four days we had to come to the camp due to heavy flooding last year," his father Jijesh told the media.

A year later, once again the family had to shift to the camp in Kozhikode town after their house was flooded in the night.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, August 11 2019. 21:25 IST