Kochi airport closure affects thousands of Qatar-based passengers

Heavy monsoon rains kill 44 people in southern India, close airport

Kerala Rains LIVE: Kochi airport suspends operations until August 18, red alert in multiple districts

As flights were being diverted to various airports or suspended, the state government made a decision to seek centre's permission to allow small aircraft to land at the Naval airport in Kochi. He has also asked for more helicopters.

Due to unprecedented heavy rain Kochi airport in Kerala, India has suspended its operation for four days.

The decision to suspend the operations was taken after shutters of the Idamalayar and Cheruthoni dams, part of Idukki reservoir, were opened last evening to release excess water.

The Cochin International Airport on Wednesday suspended all flight operations till Saturday as the aerodrome was flooded following unabated rains and the opening of dam shutters in the Periyar river, prompting authorities to divert all incoming and outgoing flights to Thiruvananthapuram or Kozhikode.

An incessant downpour battered Kerala again on Wednesday, resulting in 28 more deaths and more destruction and forcing authorities to issue a red alert across the southern state. The state, facing the worst monsoon in its history, has witnessed at least 73 deaths due to flood-related incidents, with as many as 24 people losing their lives on August 15.

Hundreds of villages have been flooded, more than 10,000 kilometres of roads and thousands of homes have been destroyed or damaged across the state, officials said.

"Kochi Airport operations is temporarily suspended till Saturday 18, 2pm since the inflow of water is still on a raising trend". In Aluva's Kondotty, a masjid acting as a relief camp has more than knee-high water. "DGCA is coordinating." To the state government's request to allow small aircraft to land at the naval airport in Kochi, the minister said they were exploring alternative landing places for small aircraft.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who accompanied Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas, demanded an immediate relief of Rs 1,200 crore.

"Finding seats to the three global airports in Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode is a tall order these days", a travel agent said. Now about 1,100 cusecs of water per hour is flowing from the river in the vicinity of the airport, but this is expected to increase to 1,500-1,600 cusecs per hour by Thursday. We are working hard to drain out the storm water.

All Air India express flights from Cochin will operate from Thiruvananthapuram, a spokesman of the Indian national carrier said. The company has also announced customer service support to its brand vehicles which were damaged in the inundations in the State.

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