Idukki: Ground Penetrating Radar will be used to locate bodies buried in the landslide at Pettimudi in Idukki district, where the death toll has risen to 58 with the recovery of three more bodies, a senior official said here on Sunday.
Cold weather and intermittent rain were impeding the rescue operation in the hills. The desolate location of Pettimudi and the washing away of an arterial bridge delayed the rescue operations after landslide hit the region on August 7.
The GPR would assist the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), police, fire force personnel and locals, who have been engaged in search and rescue operations for the last nine days, District Collector H Dineshan said.
"We have requested for a Ground Penetrating Radar from Chennai. We hope it will reach here by Tuesday,” he said. Currently 12 people are missing.
A massive mound of earth and slush, triggered by heavy rains, had flattened a row of 20 one-room row houses made of tin and asbestos sheets, which housed at least 82 workers, at Pettimudi in Rajamala on August 7. Twelve people were rescued.
On Saturday, one body was recovered and another two on Sunday, taking the toll to 58.
The State government had earlier announced that it would ensure rehabilitation of the families of the victims.
Chief Minister PinarayiVijayan, along with Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Ministers M M Mani, E Chandrasekharan, Dean Kuriakose MP, MLA S Rajendran, E S Bijimol and other officials had visited the spot on Thursday and evaluated the situation.
Pinarayi had said that the state government would take care of the education of the survivors' children and the medical expenses of those injured.
(With inputs from PTI)