Rain fury unabated; Kerala toll touches 67

Rain fury unabated; Kerala toll touches 67

A rescuer carries an infant as people are evacuated from a flood-hit locality in Kochi on Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018. The Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery reportedly suspended operations till Saturday due to rains and floods. PTI Photo

The week-long spell of torrential rain, flooding and landslides in Kerala showed no sign of retreat as the state was pounded through Wednesday, with the day’s death toll touching at least 20. The official death toll in the state between August 8 and 15 is 67.

Flight operations at the Kochi international airport were suspended till Saturday in the wake of flooding in and around the airport.

The India Meteorological Department placed all the 14 districts on red alert for heavy to very heavy rainfall with forecast for rain in place till Saturday.

Ten people were killed in landslips at two separate locations in Malappuram district. Deaths were also reported from Idukki, Kollam and Pathanamthitta districts. Landslips were reported in Wayanad and Kannur districts.

Shutters of Idamalayar dam in Ernakulam district and Cheruthoni dam in Idukki district are open even as rain continued in their catchment areas. The day’s three biggest amounts of rainfall were recorded in stations in Idukki district — Peerumed (27 cm), Idukki (23 cm) and Munnar (22 cm). As water continued to be discharged from Cheruthoni, Mullaperiyar and Mattupetty dams, many parts of Idukki, including Munnar town, are submerged.

Water from 33 dams is being discharged. Educational institutions across the state will be closed on Thursday.


The rise in water level in the river Periyar has set off more flooding in downstream areas in Ernakulam district. Thousands have been shifted to relief camps. Army personnel rescued more than 30 people, including infants, residing in submerged areas in Aluva and Puthenvelikkara in the district. Rescue operations were also successfully done in areas including Eloor. In Ernakulam, more than 100 camps were opened on Wednesday. The state government has placed restrictions in tourist destinations.

Kochi airport shut

The Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) said in a 5.30 am update that all operations were suspended till 2 pm as a precautionary measure but the authorities decided later to suspend all operations till Saturday. The CIAL has also opened an emergency control room as flights continued to be diverted.

The airport is located near river Periyar which had seen a rise in water level following discharge from the dams. The runway and other parts of the airport were flooded by water which spilled over from the neighbouring Chengal canal. “Kochi airport operations temporarily suspended till 18th Saturday 2 pm since the inflow of water is still on the rise. We are working hard to drain out the storm water,” a CIAL statement said.

In the south, the overflowing river Pampa set off massive flooding in the Ranni and Aranmula regions of Pathanamthitta district. Many areas in the district were submerged and residents in isolated locations made calls for help through social media. Pampa and Sabarimala remained isolated after two days of flooding. The Travancore Devaswom Board has urged pilgrims not to visit the hill shrine till further notice. Delays in train services were reported from many parts of the state.

In Thiruvananthapuram, heavy overnight rain left many parts of the city submerged. Parts of Technopark were flooded. The district administration has opened 47 relief camps.

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