Three more bodies were recovered from Pettimudy, near Munnar, on Wednesday taking the death toll in the landslip to 55.
The bodies were identified as that of Laksmansree, 9, and Nadiya, 11, and Sumathi, 50. The bodies were buried in a mass grave at Pettimudy after autopsy at a makeshift mortuary there.
As per the Revenue Department, 15 persons are still to be accounted for.
For the past three days, the NDRF team was focussing on a wide area, especially on the banks of the Kannimala river, and many bodies washed away in the stream were recovered from distant places.
Devikulam Subcollector S.Premkrishnan said there would be a sector-wise search on Thursday as there were chances of the stream carrying away bodies. If the climate improved, sniffer dogs would be deployed in the search operation, he added.
District Collector H. Dinesan said search operations were being held as per the COVID protocol. Antigen tests were being conducted on those engaged in search operations. Two persons found positive had been sent in home quarantine.
Those who mingled with them were also advised to go in quarantine, he said adding that it was to adhere to the protocol that the police were preventing people from entering the area. He said steps were being taken to disinfect the area every day.
Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will visit the landslip-hit area in Pettimudy on Thursday. They will come from Thiruvananthapuram in a helicopter at 9 a.m. They will return by 2 p.m.