Kerala landslide: How Idukki landslide happened; all you need to know

By: |
August 11, 2020 4:03 PM

Think Idukki or Munnar and you can easily imagine the most picturesque location for a scenic snapshot. However, in a recent incident, a landslide took place in Kerala’s Idukki district on August 6.

As of now, 49 bodies have been recovered during the rescue operations.

Landslide in Kerala: Think Idukki or Munnar and you can easily imagine the most picturesque location for a scenic snapshot. However, in a recent incident, a landslide took place in Kerala’s Idukki district on August 6. Many workers of Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Company have been residing in Pettimudi region. Due to heavy rains, rocks, sludge came falling down for 1.5 km, resulting in the crashing of many houses of these real estate workers.

According to a report by the IE citing Kerala Geology Department, the area where the landslide took place is quite vulnerable. It has a slope of 40 degrees and any slope which is above 20 degrees of angle is prone to landslides during heavy rains. The report highlighted that the soil has a high content of sand and therefore, during rains, it becomes loose after absorbing the water. Further, this increases the risk of slipping down.

In Idukki, it has been analysed by the State Disaster Management Authority that the high-intensity rainfall in the state has saturated the soil on the slopes. As the soil contained higher level clay, the water retention capacity increased and drainage capacity decreased. This resulted in high water pressure in the slope material the report said. Apart from this, human activities of developing buildings on slope, inadequate protective measures among other factors have made the area vulnerable, giving impetus to landslides.

When the recent landslide took place, as many as 83 people were residing in 30 single-room, sheet-roofed quarters, that the estate has provided them. As of now, 49 bodies have been recovered during the rescue operations. According to the report, there are many missing people as some had come from other areas as guests.

Last year, landslides took place in Kavalappara, Malappuram and Puthumala, Wayanad region of the state where 17 people died. In 2018 too, landslides took place in Idukki killing over 60 people.

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