Kochi Airport To Restart Flight Operations From Noon Tomorrow

The water level in Periyar river and a canal near Kochi airport had been rising after heavy rain in Kerala

Kochi Airport To Restart Flight Operations From Noon Tomorrow

Heavy rain in Kerala for the last few days left many parts of the southern state flooded

New Delhi:

Flight operations at Cochin International Airport in Kerala that were stopped on Friday morning will resume at noon on Sunday, the airport authorities said today. They said the opening time has been advanced by three hours as they had planned to open the airport at 3 pm on Sunday.

The water level in Periyar river and a canal near the airport had been rising after heavy rain in Kerala.

"Kochi Airport is ready. Flight operations begin at 12 noon tomorrow; that is ahead of deadline. Airlines are instructed to facilitate services accordingly," the airport said in a statement.

Flight operations were stopped after the apron area at the Kochi airport got flooded, Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) posted on its Facebook page on Friday.

Airport officials said water level in the apron areas has been receding and cleaning operations have begun. "Ferry operation was successfully carried out. Six out of eight stranded aircraft departed today, while the remaining two will fly to their destinations tomorrow as scheduled services," the spokesperson said.

At least 42 people have died in the floods in Kerala since Thursday. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan met with officials of the State Disaster Management Authority at their control room to oversee coordination of relief and rescue operations. The Central Water Commission said the water level in some rivers has risen to a dangerous point. Heavy rainfall has been forecast from August 15.

An entire cluster of homes of plantation workers at a tea estate in Wayanad was swept away by a landslide on Thursday evening. Some 40 people are still trapped under the debris, officials said.

The rescuers are finding it difficult to navigate around the debris due to multiple low-intensity landslides in Wayanad, official said, adding this area has not seen a landslide in 20 years.

The Kerala Chief Minister's office today said 1,111 flood relief camps are operating across the state. "These camps now host 124464 persons from 34386 families. Kozhikode has the most number of camps - 218," it said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who represents Wayanad, called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday and urged him to ensure aid for the flood-hit. Mr Gandhi said he will go to his constituency in Kerala on Sunday.