Kalpetta: A three-year-old boy who was sleeping in his cradle is one of the casualties of the latest round of natural fury that has struck Kerala. The toddler died as water gushed into a canteen from a hill at the Puthumala tea estate here in Wayanad district, which is bearing the brunt of the incessant rains and landslides reported from the southern state.
The body of the child, named Muhammed Mistah, was recovered a few hours later.
His parents Shaukat and Muneer escaped though they too were washed away.
Mistah was the couple’s only son and was born 13 years after their marriage. He was asleep in his cradle when waters flowed downhill all of a sudden on Thursday. Shaukat was at the counter and Muneera in the kitchen of the canteen when the tragedy struck. Even before they could get to him, the floodwaters brought down the building to the ground.
It felt like the clouds crashing down, Muneera recalled.
Shaukat was rescued from about a kilometre away from the canteen and Muneera was found a few metres down the hill. As she removed mud from her face and gained normalcy, Muneera found herself stuck among some trees. A local resident named ET Raju rescued her.
Shaukat hung on to a branch down the hill to save himself.
Shaukat, a tea estate worker, had moved in to the canteen with his family after he had taken it on lease two months ago. They were planning to go back to their house after a small landslide was reported near it on Wednesday.
Many youths who came to volunteer at the relief camp had reached the canteen for food. The floods hit soon after they left.
Nabeesa, another canteen worker, too was swept away. She had arrived even though it was her off day.