The toll in the landslide that occurred in Kerala's Idukki district on Friday rose to nine and 57 people are still missing, while rescue operations are underway, ANI reported.
The report quoted eyewitnesses as saying that they heard a loud sound when the landslide occurred in the Rajamalai ward of the Munnar gram panchayat. "People were running to safety and water was gushing in," one eyewitness said.
With rescue operations still underway, some reports stated fatalities higher than the official figures.
While Hindustan Times reported that the toll has risen to 15, NDTV said that the toll is now 13. The NDTV report also reported that twelve people have been rescued and have been admitted in the Tata General Hospital in Munnar.
Over 70 people were feared trapped soon after the landslide was reported early on Friday. At least 20 houses were buried under the debris, police informed.
The landslide took place at the Pettimudi Division of Kannan Devan's tea estate at Neymakkadu, Onmanorama reported.
The area has been witnessing torrential rains and waterlogging since Tuesday, reports suggested.
The Periyavarai bridge which collapsed in the rain has been repaired temporarily to facilitate the rescue operations.
Forest Minister K Raju said instructions have been given to forest officials and other emergency services to reach the spot and begin rescue operations.
Communication links to the area have, however, been affected as power lines have snapped because of the rains.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted that an NDRF team had been deployed. The Chief Minister's Office has also requested the Indian Air Force to provide helicopters to help in the rescue efforts.
"An NDRF team has been deployed to rescue landslide victims in Rajamalai, Idukki. Police, Fire Force, Forest & Revenue officials have been instructed to join rescue efforts. Another team of NDRF, based in Thrissur, will soon reach Idukki," the Chief Minister said.
The India Meteorological Department(IMD) said a red alert was issued to Malappuram district for 7 August and an orange alert in nine districts of Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod till 9 August.
District Rainfall Forecast of Kerala pic.twitter.com/vfTTeZ6PR3
" Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (@KeralaSDMA) August 6, 2020
On Thursday heavy rains caused a temporary bridge in Idukki district to collapse, state authorities said.
The district also saw floods in low-lying areas like Munnar, which is near Rajamalai, because of rising water levels of the Muthirapuzha River.
Night travel has been banned in Idukki district, the state disaster management authority was quoted by news agency PTI, adding that several roads and highways had been closed due to rains.
#KeralaRains Rainfall continues to lash Wayanad.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert of extremely heavy rainfall warning for Kerala till August 9 pic.twitter.com/UTuyq4cW57
" ANI (@ANI) August 7, 2020
Malappuram district officials have opened nine camps, seven of which are in Nilambur town that was briefly flooded after the Chaliyar River overflowed.
"A total of 410 people are in the seven camps with adherence to COVID-19 protocol," a district disaster management authority official told PTI.
Wayanad district administration has opened 12 camps and shifted at least 560 people. "People from containment zones are kept separately," District Collector Dr Adeela Abdulla said.
With inputs from agencies