Idukki: Twelve persons died and several others were reported missing as a string of landslips triggered by heavy downpour battered the high range Idukki and adjoining districts Monday.
The deceased included two children and two women as their houses on the slopes of the hills in Idukki district were swept away by flash floods, police said.
First landslide was reported at Kunchithanni in the district. Varikkayil Pappachan, Thankamma, Perumanthalathil Annamma and Malayinjiyil Sharada were the four dead in Kunchithanni following the landslide that vanquished their houses. Another landslide was reported at Cheruthoni which has taken lives of Jisna (16) and Josni (14).
Four people were killed in a landslip at Cheeyappara near Adimali while relief work was on in the area where landslip occurred in the wee hours. According to reports, seven people were rescued. Several others are feared to have been trapped under the debris.
Meanwhile, three vehicles fell into a ravine while bad weather halted rescue operations. Several vehicles were trapped in the debris and rescue work hampered as roads the district got blocked by rubble spawned by landslide and flashfloods.
A district where most people are small and marginal farmers, Idukki also suffered heavy crop and property loss.
People in affected areas have been shifted to relief camps.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has called an emergency cabinet meeting in the state capital to review the serious situation and gear up the relief operations.
The IMD has cautioned fishermen not to venture into the sea in the next 48 hours as strong winds of 45-55 kmph could lash coastal areas along with heavy rains.