- Kerala facing severe rain and flood crisis
- Heavy rain and wind alert was issued this morning
- 42 people have been killed so far, thousands in relief camps
Flight operations have been stopped at Kerala's Kochi airport after heavy rains caused waterlogging in nearby areas. Operations of international and domestic flights have been suspended till 2 pm.
Operations were suspended after shutters of several dams were lifted which led to the flooding of the area.
"Operations suspended to/from Cochin International Airport till 1400 hrs...due to flood level in and around Airport," an airport spokesperson told news agency PTI.
Meanwhile, the weather office issued warning this morning that heavy rain accompanied with gusty winds, speed reaching 60 kmph, is expected in all districts of Kerala. The alert issued at 7 am is for three hours.
Landslides and flooding continue to be reported from several districts of the state including Idukki, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad and Malappuram.
Several people have fled their homes due to landslides and land slips in the district part of Western Ghats. People living in the downstream have been shifted to relief camps. Over 13,800 people have been provided shelter at 124 relief camps in the district. Low lying areas are inundated, officials said.
Addressing the nation on Independence Day, PM Narendra Modi said, "Many parts of India affected by floods. My thoughts are with families of those who lost their lives in floods."
Last night at 2.30 am, shutters of Mullaperiyar dam were opened after water levels rose. Hundreds of people living on the banks of Periyar river were shifted before the gates were opened.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan earlier told the media that the devastation is worst since 1924. He also announced the state would not celebrate Onam in the wake of the mass destruction and loss of lives.
Forty-two people have died since August 8 after floods hit Kerala, and around 60,000 people have been displaced. The damage has been estimated at nearly 8,000 crore rupees.