Published: Thu, August 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Flood toll in India's tourist hotspot Kerala jumps to 67

Flood toll in India's tourist hotspot Kerala jumps to 67

In addition, the flooding has led to authorities temporarily closing Kochi Airport until the 18th of this month. He has also asked for more helicopters.

Elsewhere, monsoon rains caused at least 11 people in central India to be swept away by a flash flood while picnicking at a waterfall on Wednesday, according to an official.

After the intervention by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and HM Rajnath Singh yesterday, the mounting tension between Kerala and Tamil Nadu over the rising water level in Mullaperiyar Dam and its outflow was resolved. The rail link between north and south Kerala is closed as railways suspended train traffic at Aluva and Angamaly stations after flooding on Wednesday night.

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.

Krishna Kumar, a relief official, said there will be no immediate respite for thousands of people in state-run relief camps with more rain and winds forecast until Saturday. More than 1.5 lakh people have been lodged in relief across the state, he said.

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The Pathanamthitta district administration has sought the services of fishing boats from Kollam to rescue hundreds of people stranded in various parts of the district following flood in the Pampa and Killiyar rivers. "This is done to minimize the inconvenience to passengers and as a precautionary measure to ensure operational safety", Cochin International Airport said in a statement. "All are requested to cooperate", the spokesperson said.

"Once the water recedes, it will take us 24 hours to clean up".

Aluva and Paravoor in Ernakulam district, on the banks of the Periyar, are facing flood threat. Over 50,000 people are in relief camps and the damage to crops and properties is estimated to be over Rs 8,000 crore. "I also said that it is critical that he gives the state special financial assistance as this is a tragedy without parallel in Kerala's history", Mr Gandhi tweeted.

Several districts of the state including Idukki, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad and Malappuram continue to witness landslides and flood.

All Air India express flights from Cochin will operate from Thiruvananthapuram, a spokesman of the Indian national carrier said.

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