The landslide was caused by heavy rains in Kerala and over fifty persons were feared trapped. The victims were mostly tea estate workers. “The ill-fated workers believed to have been asleep when the landslide occurred in the early morning hours of Friday,” sources said.
The grief stricken relatives at Barathi Nagar in Kayathar taluk claimed about 55 persons, who settled in Idukki long years ago, were buried in the landslide. Some relatives claimed that even at this time of grief, they could not travel owing to e-pass restrictions. Thoothukudi Collector Sandeep Nanduri, when contacted on Saturday, said those 55 persons settled in Idukki, three generations ago. The Kerala government in the wake of landslide released a list that showed 17 dead and among them about nine belonged to Kayathar.
“A team of officials including District Officer and Deputy Collector from Theni headed off to Idukki to render assistance in retrieving and identifying the bodies,” the Collector said.
Nearly forty relatives from Kayathar on Friday night left for the location, where the landslide occurred, by five vans.
“Since the victims had identity proofs provided by the Kerala authorities and moreover found under debris, it’s difficult to ascertain their identity,” he said.