As heavy rains continued to lash Kerala, flight operations at the Kochi International Airport were suspended till 3 pm Sunday as the runway was waterlogged due to floods. Floodwaters inundated the apron area (parking area) of the building as well.
Flight operations were suspended after a rise in water levels in Periyar river and a canal adjacent to the airport. Low-lying areas in Nedumbassery panchayat, where the Kochi airport is located, and Parakkadavu panchayat have also been flooded. Read this story in Malayalam
“As the apron area is waterlogged due to the flood, all aircraft operations (have been) suspended at Kochi airport till 9 am on August 9,” a statement issued by the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) said.
The Chief Minister’s Office released an emergency control room number (+91 484 3053500) for inquiries by passengers.
Earlier on Thursday, flight operations were suspended for four hours till midnight as a precautionary measure but were later extended to 9 am Friday.
Operations at the Kochi airport suspended till 3 pm Sunday after widest waterlogging in the area. Second successive year that airport is shut due to floods @IndianExpress
— Vishnu Varma (@VishKVarma) August 9, 2019
CIAL has informed that the operations of the Cochin International Airport, Kochi (COK) will remain suspended till 09:00 AM on 09/08/19.
Emergency control room number: +91 484 3053500 pic.twitter.com/KAjgDpnkUA
— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) August 8, 2019
The airport, among the busiest in the country, had been rendered non-functional for a fortnight in 2018 due to flooding and torrential rains. It had suffered an estimated loss of over Rs 220 crore, which includes a 2.6 km long wall that had collapsed after the Periyar river overflowed.
The India Meteorological Department Friday sounded a red alert in four districts — Kozhikode, Wayanad, Idukki and Malappuram — and warned of “excessively heavy” rains at isolated places in these areas. According to the state disaster management authority, at least 10 people have died in separate incidents of flooding and landslides. Around 13,000 people have been shifted to relief camps.