At least 20 people have died in rain-related incidents over the past few days in parts of South India, even as torrential rains, gusty winds and landslips left a trail of destruction and disrupted train and road transport services Thursday. Eight deaths were reported from Kerala and three in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.
The Kochi International airport has suspended all operations till Sunday as the runway area in the airport is water logged due to flood, the airport authorities said. “Kochi Airport closes operations till 1500 hrs of Sunday (11/08/2019),” a statement issued by the Airport said.
A Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) spokesman said the runway area of the airport is water logged due to the flood.
Kerala government has declared holiday on Friday, for all schools across the state.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking assistance in the flood hit Kerala, including in his constituency Wayanad. In a tweet, Rahul Gandhi’s Wayanad account wrote, “Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi spoke to the Prime Minister seeking all possible assistance for the people severely affected by the floods and landslides in the state, especially in Wayanad. The PM has assured to provide any assistance required to mitigate the effects of the disaster.”
On Thursday night, the CIAL had announced the suspension of flight operations till 9 am on Friday as a precautionary measure in view of heavy rains lashing the region. Flights coming to the airport were diverted.
The operations were suspended as there was a rise in water level in Periyar river and a canal adjacent to the airport due to heavy rains.
Airport infrastructure was damaged in the floods, with an estimated loss of Rs 220-250 crore.
Heavy rains have been battering Kerala for the past few days. Eight people were killed in rain-related incidents in the state on Thursday, bringing back memories of last year's devastating floods. The floods in August 2018 had rendered the airport non-functional for a fortnight.