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Many bodies trapped in landslides not retrieved; desperate for food, clothes for women: Idukki MP

After the communication networks collapsed in Idukki, few available pieces of police wireless sets were the only medium for George and others to communicate outstation.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai |
Updated: August 18, 2018 10:57:03 am
Many bodies trapped in landslides not retrieved; desperate for food, clothes for women: Idukki MP An aerial view shows partially submerged houses at a flooded area in the southern state of Kerala, India, August 17, 2018. REUTERS/Sivaram V

There is a grave situation in Idukki district of Kerala where, local MP Joice George said, bodies of victims trapped in landslides couldn’t be retrieved as the entire district administration is paralysed and people are affected or stranded in different places in the hill area.

Talking to The Indian Express, George said relief camps in the district are desperate for food – especially rice, vegetables, clothes including undergarments and sanitary napkins for women.

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“Indian Medical Association – Tamil Nadu chapter is helping us with medicines. But we need immediate help as many places couldn’t be reached even after four days. There are people who need emergency medical help, roads have to be cleared in many parts, many victim bodies are feared trapped and they need to be retrieved including a family killed in landslides on Friday night at Upputhodu in the district,” George said.

After the communication networks collapsed in Idukki, few available pieces of police wireless sets were the only medium for George and others to communicate outstation.

While major towns in the district couldn’t be reached, Kattappana is the base camp at present, to collect relief materials arriving from Tamil Nadu via Theni and Cumbum.

So far 173 lives have been lost in the floods since August 8 and Idduki district in the Western Ghats, remains the most affected. Officials and residents said Idukki has been “cut off from the outside world” since Wednesday.

“We are unable to move beyond a few kilometers by road. The police and district administration have been able to conduct rescue and relief work only in areas where they are based. But fuel shortage and lack of power supply are making this task difficult,” said a senior government official Friday.

The official also informed people need to be shifted out of the district on an urgent basis for medical treatment.

Idukki is the home of popular tourist destinations Munnar and Thekkady — and also of a key dam and two other dams at Kulamavu and Cheruthoni from where water was released for the first time in 26 years this month.

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