Kerala floods shut Kochi airport till Saturday

Heavy monsoon rains kill 44 people in southern India, close airport

Heavy monsoon rains kill 44 people in southern India, close airport

Unabated rains have forced the state government to do away with the official "Onam" celebrations and the amount set apart for the goal would be utilised for relief operations. The worst-affected Idukki and Wayanad districts received 80mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours, a spokesperson of the regional office of the meteorological department said. Working with state government to ensure proper movement as much as possible in given situation. Power Minister M.M. Mani told the media here that the government was fully geared to help those who had been displaced. Widespread crop damage was reported across the State. Many moaned that they had lost virtually all their possessions after surging waters swept away whatever they possessed. The Army and Air force have been deployed.

Major tourist centres including Athirappally, Ponmudi and Munnar, which were expecting huge influx of visitors in the wake of Onam festival season, have closed.

"Kochi Airport operations is temporarily suspended till Saturday 18, 2pm since the inflow of water is still on a raising trend".

Cochin International Airport's official website showed that several flights had been diverted, cancelled and indefinitely delayed.

Indian airlines including IndiGo, Air India and SpiceJet also have announced suspension of their operations to Kochi.

An urgent meeting, convened by the chief minister here to evaluate the flood situation, directed officials to requisition maximum number of lifeboats from Tamil Nadu. "The neighbouring states have been helping us and we need their help in the future too", added the chief minister. "We're keeping all this in mind but our priority is to get drinking water to the people". Image sourceImage sourceIndian Army's Engineer Task Force led from the front building this foot overbridge along with the help from locals.

According to the statement, authorities are in the process of draining out storm water, but water levels have been steadily rising and that could pose a challenge.

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Authorities are maintaining a close vigil especially in Idukki district as the shutters of the Mullaperiyar dam were also opened at 2.35 am after its water-level crossed 140 feet.

Many parts of Thiruvananthapuram are also receiving heavy rains since early this morning.

The five latest fatalities from the rain that began a week ago came when authorities in the southern state were forced to release water from 35 dangerously full dams, sending a surge into its main river.

The dam, located in Idukki district of Kerala, is owned and operated by Tamil Nadu.

The water level at Idukki is at 2398.90 ft due to which water of 10 lakh litres per second is being released.

Aluva and Paravoor in Ernakulam district, on the banks of the Periyar, are facing flood threat.

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