Kerala rains: flights resume at Kochi airport after over 24 hours

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Kerala rains: flights resume at Kochi airport after over 24 hours
Kochi:  After being closed for over 24 hours, operations have finally resumed at Kochi international airport in Kerala. The airport was shut down on Monday after water flooded the runway and the parking bay. 126 flights were cancelled yesterday affecting nearly 11,000 passengers.
Here are the latest developments in the story:
  1. The director of the Cochin International Airport, A K C Nair, announced this morning that there was no water-logging on the runway today as excess water had successfully been flushed out. (See pictures of airport flooding)
  2. In a reprieve for passengers, both international and domestic flights have begun taking off and landing at the airport.
  3. Incessant rain since Saturday and subsequent landslides have claimed at least 14 lives in the state so far. Officials say more casualties are expected.
  4. As a result of the heavy rainfall, the Periyar River is flowing near the danger mark. The famous Lord Shiva temple situated on the banks of the river in Aluva, 27 kms from Kochi, is nearly submerged.
  5. Thousands of people were expected to gather at this temple today for a religious ritual. They were however forced to perform the ritual, 'Bali Tharpanam', at temporary sheds put up by the administration near the temple. A team of five Navy divers are on standby in the area to tackle any mishap.
  6. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy undertook an aerial survey of the landslide-affected areas today. He also visited Idukki. Later in the day, he will chair an all-party meeting to review the situation.
  7. At least 14 people have died due to incessant rain in the state. Many bodies were found in a stretch of National Highway 49 in Idukki in the central part of the state.
  8. Several cars had flipped over on this highway and many got buried under mounds of rubble. Rescuers are searching for possible survivors who may have got trapped inside these cars.
  9. The Army, the Navy and the National Disaster Relief Force have been brought in for rescue operations. They continued relief and rescue work overnight. Marine divers from the Navy rescued almost 180 people from villages near Cochin yesterday.
  10. Traffic has been partly restored on the National Highway 49, which remained blocked till this morning.




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