A man went missing and 10 others had a close shave after they were caught in a major landslip at Puthukkady, near Vattavada, Munnar, around 3 p.m. on Saturday. The missing person has been identified as Roopesh, 40, of Vadakara in Kozhikode.
A team, including Roopesh was on their way to Munnar in a van after visiting Vattavada when the landslip blocked their path. Following this, the team attempted to push the vehicle backward when a fresh wave of soil and water fell on the van, washing it away. Roopesh was trapped inside after he had entered the van to retrieve his mobile phone. The mangled remains of the vehicle was later spotted about 800 m from the road.
K.R. Manoj, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Munnar, said a huge amount of soil and water had fallen on the vehicle, washing it away in the impact.
Devikulam Subcollector Rahul Krishna Sharama said the rescue works were suspended late in the evening owing to adverse weather and threat posed by wild animals. “The search will resume on Sunday morning,” he said.
District Collector Sheeba George said travel along the Munnar-Vattavada route remains banned until further notice in the wake of the landslip. “Tourists and passengers are advised to remain alert and avoid travel along the route,” she said.
Puthukkady had witnessed a major landslip in August this year in which nearly 450 people from 150 families had a narrow escape. However, three shops, a temple, and several parked vehicles were destroyed in the incident which also damaged the the Munnar-Vattavada road.
Two days later, another landslip occurred in the same area, damaging the staff quarters of Kannan Devan Hills Plantations, though no casualties were reported.