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Rescuers Find Bodies of Kids and Mother Hugging Each Other as Death Toll in Kerala Floods Touches 39

About 39 people have lost their lives in the heavy rains and floods in Kerala since August 8.

Neethu Reghukumar | CNN-News18

Updated:August 14, 2018, 4:48 PM IST
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Rescuers Find Bodies of Kids and Mother Hugging Each Other as Death Toll in Kerala Floods Touches 39
A house is seen submerged in water following a flash flood, triggered by heavy rains, at Kodencheri in Kozhikode. (Image: PTI)
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When the devastating floods in Kerala reached Malappuram, it wiped out Velayudhan’s family of six within a few minutes and all that was left was a huge mound of sand.

A day later, he stumbled upon the two children in his family holding onto their mother, buried under the sand.

"I saw my mother lying lifeless under the sand. I don’t remember anything after that," says Velayudhan, while breaking down trying to remember the ordeal that ended up in his house being completely washed away in the flash floods.

Velayudhan's mother, elder brother Subramanyan and his wife, two children and their relative died in the landslide at Chatriyanpara in Malappuram district last Thursday. He remains the only surviving member of the family.

Velayudhan is still in shock wondering how all of it could end in a few minutes.

There is no trace of the house in which he was born and spent his entire life.

Landslides were reported from various places in Malappuram, Kozhikode, Idukki and Wayanad districts, as nearly one lakh people were rendered homeless due to the deluge.

He says, “My wife and child were in her house that day. I was returning from work when I saw everyone in my area running out of their houses. I could not find my mother, brother and his family. I went back at night and searched, but could not find them. It was still raining and the sand was still coming down.”

Everyone told Velayudhan that it was not safe to go on with the search operations due to heavy rain.

"The next morning, we continued looking for them. I saw my mother flying lifeless under the sand. I couldn't remember anything after that," says Velayudhan.

Radhakrishnan, his neighbour, said the bodies of Subramanyan's wife and children were found in the same place where the house once stood. "The children was seen hugging and holding onto their mother. Their bodies were recovered in that position," says Radhakrishnan.

The people in Chettiyanpara said that they have never witnessed a landslide in the area. There were 16 families living here and most of them said that they do not want to go back. They hope to buy land somewhere else with the compensation money that the government gives them.

About 39 people have lost their lives in the heavy rains and floods in Kerala since August 8.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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