Plappally village devastated by multiple landslides
Kottayam: Twenty minor and major landslides occurred at Plappally village in the eastern hills of the Kottayam district on Saturday from 8.30 am to 11.30 am due to the heavy rains. Plappally is the third ward of Koottikkal panchayat in Kanjirappally taluk and a part of this village is in Thekkekara panchayat in Poonjar.
There are about 130 families living in Plappally. The landslide occurred at Kadakkal junction, where a tea shop, a grocery store and a chapel are located. Sarasamma and Roshni who died in the landslide were trying to remove the rainwater that flowed into the tea shop run by Sarasamma and husband Panthalattil Mohanan.
Roshni's husband Venu was nearby at the time of the accident. As he saw the landslide coming down, he shouted them to run away. However, it was too late to save them. Following this, ten families were evacuated to a safer place in Pathekar.
The rescue operations are progressing in Thalungal along with the search for dead bodies. However, the heavy rains and unfavourable conditions hinder rescue operations in several areas.
The residents of Plappally depend on the towns of Enthayar and Kootikkal for their daily necessities. However, due to the landslides, the roads leading to the area are now destroyed. A relief camp has been opened in a government school half a kilometre away from the site of the landslide.
Plappally village is located between two hills and many people were not home during the time of the incident. They are now unable to return home as the roads and areas adjoining the village has been cut off. There is also a road from Plappally to Poonjar. However, the bus service to Plappally have been stopped in the wake of the incident.