According to Mathrubhumi, the landslide occurred at Bhoodhanam near Kavalappara in Nilambur. The body of two children and a woman have been recovered from the site.
State and national rescue teams will reach Kavalappara soon, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted.
While residents told Manorama it was part of a hill that had collapsed, Mathrubhumi reported an entire hill had collapsed onto Bhoodhanam.
Reports of the incident came out on Friday afternoon as there were no means to communicate the news earlier, Nilambur MLA PV Anwar told Manorama.
According to Anwar, nearly 100 acres of land came crashing down in the hilly area. The landslide was triggered by incessant rains.
A resident told Manorama that the incident took place at 8 pm but there was no phone network in the area to reach out to authorities for rescue efforts.
Nine districts of Kerala are on red alert due to heavy rains and a flood warning has been issued by the Central Water Commission.
In Malappuram district, the district collector said rescue operations were ongoing in Nilambur, Edavanna and Vazhakkad areas, which have seen heavy rains. He called for people to donate basic amenities to the district’s relief camps where over 5000 people have been shifted.