My heart sank when I saw Wayanad in ruins: Expat in Dubai

My heart sank when I saw Wayanad in ruins: Expat in Dubai

Dubai - Rescue officials from the National Disaster Response Force managed to dig out nine bodies from the debris.



By Saman Haziq

Published: Sat 10 Aug 2019, 11:42 PM

Last updated: Sun 11 Aug 2019, 10:16 AM

Watching catastrophic scenes from his hometown, Wayanad, Dubai resident Mohandas said it 'broke his heart'. Wayanad is one of the worst affected areas of Kerala due to rain fury, where at least 30 tea estate workers were feared missing in a massive landslide at Puthumala, near Meppadi in Wayanad.
Reminiscing about his home town, Mohandas said: "I have spent my childhood in that very area, which primarily has tea plantations farming. My father was a supervisor at one of these tea plantations, which is why we were given a company accommodation that later converted into a cafeteria. My heart sank when I saw that it was completely destroyed by a landslide."
Mohandas had visited Puthumala with his family in January this year just to show his children his old house and his village. "There was a small temple behind my house where I took my family during this January trip. Even my siblings came along with me with their children. It was a magical experience as we toured the village and showed our children where we grew up. But with the landlside, everything has gone. The whole area is now just stones and mud. The temple, my old house, the nearby places where we played have all got destroyed. There is no trace of it now," said a deeply saddened Mohandas.
Mohandas said many of his fathers' friends, who still worked and stayed in the area, were missing. Rescue officials from the National Disaster Response Force managed to dig out nine bodies from the debris.
Another former resident of Puthumala, Rajendran who is now a Sharjah resident, said he was devastated to see his former village buried under debris. "I have lived, studied and grown up in Puthumala and used to enjoy the rain. But it never got this bad. The landslide was completely unexpected and took the residents by surprise. My brother who stays about 1km from the affected place is helping with the relief worka," he said.
"One of our family friends was having tea in the cafeteria when the landslide struck at 4pm on Thursday. He has been missing since then. His family was shifted to a higher ground. We are all praying that he is alive."
"It is sad to see such a beautiful area ravaged by rains and landlsides. A lot of tourists flock to Puthumala as we have very scenic waterfalls called Soochippara, and a thick green cover, which is what makes it a great trekking spot."
Rajendran's family has also opened up their house, 10km from Puthumala, in Meppadi for those affected by the landslide.
saman@khaleejtimes.com


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