Due to heavy rainfall on Sunday, all the flight operations at Cochin International Airport have been stopped in Kerala till 3 pm, informed an airport official today.
The water level in the Periyar river and a canal near the airport has been rising. As per sources, at least 12 people died and the officials said that the number of dead may increase.
In the four districts of the state including Wayanad, Idukki, Malappuram, and Kozhikode a red alert has been issued by the Kerala government as the weather forecast predicted heavy to extremely heavy rainfall.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan met with officials of the State Disaster Management Authority at their control room to oversee the coordination of relief and rescue operations on Thursday.
On Thursday evening, an entire group of plantation workers at a tea estate in Wayanad was swept away by a massive landslide. Officials stated 200 people have been injured and several are trapped under the debris. Two dead bodies have been found while 100 people have been rescued. Thee NDRF team is working at the site.
According to the officials, this area did not witness any landslide in 20 years. The rescue team is finding difficult to navigate around the debris because of the multiple low-intensity landslides in Wayanad.
All the schools and colleges will remain shut in all the 14 districts of the southern state today. Officials said no university exam will be held. Teams of the NDRF and Army is working at one of the worst affected areas, Nilambur village in Malappuram where the water level is rising very fast.
Today, Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) posted on its Facebook page, flight operations were stopped till 9 am but after a nearby area of the airport got flooded, it decided to extend the time.
“We strongly recommend that your communications plan includes a backup means. Keep your phone charged. Follow instructions from local officials. Listen to instructions regarding evacuation or sheltering. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately,” Mr. Vijayan tweeted.