‘Misery and devastation’: Indian flood kills 67 in tourist hotspot
16 August, 2018, 11:19
The unabated rains in the flood-ravaged Kerala have also compelled the authorities to shut down flight operations from Cochin global airport till August 18 after flood water submerged the runway yesterday. All 14 districts of the state are under red alert as heavy rain continued in many parts of the state.
People in downstream areas have been severely affected after shutters of all major dams including Mullaperiyar, Cheruthoni, part of Idukki reservoir, and Idamalayar were opened.
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.
An official statement said the state government would soon approach the Civil Aviation Ministry asking whether small flights to Kochi could be allowed to land at the naval airport.
Rain-related calamities have rendered hundreds homeless and around 17,974 people have been sheltered in relief camps. As water continues to be released from the Idukki dam system, it is flooding the Kochi airport and nearby regions. He also spoke with Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan again this morning.
Meanwhile, a red alert has been issued across Kerala in what has turned out to be the state's worst monsoon in nearly a century.
More than 100 families in and around the Pechiparai and Peruchani dams in Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu have been evacuated by the district administration due to discharge of waters from the dams. Kochi Airport has suspended all its operations until August 18, as water has entered the runway. "Tens of thousands are in the relief camps", said Vijayan in his social media page.
A landslide between Kuzhithurai and Eraniel stations has delayed four long distance trains, railway sources said adding a few passenger trains have been partially hit.
"Kochi Airport operations is temporarily suspended till Saturday 18, 2pm since the inflow of water is still on a raising trend".
The chief secretary was asked to contact neighbouring states for emergency assistance. In Ernakulam, train services between Aluva and Chalakudy has been suspended following the flooding in river Periyar.
Officials said an underground parking area of a private hospital was also inundated.
The spokesmen for the interior ministry and health ministries confirmed that at least 25 people were killed and 35 injured. The terror group has targeted Shia areas many times before but has not yet claimed responsibilty.
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