Kerala floods: India Navy opens INS Garuda Airport to aid operations, Kochi airport remains shut
Members of a rescue team row a boat towards a submerged temple to look for a man believed to be stranded inside the temple during heavy rains on the outskirts of Kochi in Kerala.
WION Web Team New Delhi
Aug 09, 2019, 10.57 AM
In the wake of heavy rainfall and flooding in the southern state of Kerala, the Indian Navy on Friday decided to open INS Garuda Airport, naval air station, to aid operations in Kochi.
The development comes as operations at Cochin International Airport remain been suspended till August 11, 3 pm.
Heavy spells of rain seem to have gripped the state of Kerala again this year after wreaking havoc last monsoon.
So far, over 20 lives have been lost in rain and flood-related incidents across the state - primarily from districts like Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad, Kasargode and Idukki.
Captain DK Sharma, Navy Spokesperson: Indian Navy opens its airport INS Garuda for civil aircraft operations in Kochi due to non-availability of the civilian airport there. #KeralaFloodspic.twitter.com/8oA1zhX6TG
A massive landslide has marooned around 2,000 people in Meppadi in the district.
Kerala CM: 315 relief camps have been set up, 22000 people are there. Most people in these camps are from Wayanad. Death toll,across state,is 22. Intensity of rainfall is likely to subside tomorrow but another spell of extremely heavy rainfall expected from Aug 15. #KeralaFloodspic.twitter.com/fY8MlVFKS5
Over 22,000 people have been shifted to some 315 relief camps across the state. Chief Minister Pinarayi said that the intensity of the rain is likely to subside from tomorrow but another heavy spell expected from August 15.
#KeralaRains: 🚨Red alert issued in four districts Idukki, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kozhikode. #Wayanad district is the worst hit.
A dozen teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are already at the job.
Former Congress chief and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi on Thursday expressed concern over the situation in the district.
"I am very concerned about the rainfall and landslide in my constituency (Wayanad). I have talked to officers there and also talked to the Chief Minister of Kerala over it. I will also take this up with the Prime Minister and request him for assistance," he told reporters here.
"I was planning to go there but the Collector told me that it will not be a good idea because it would disturb rescue operations. I will try and go there as soon as possible," he added.
Gandhi requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide assistance for his Lok Sabha constituency which is facing the wrath of heavy rainfall and landslides.
Wayanad MP @RahulGandhi spoke to the Prime Minister seeking all possible assistance for the people severely affected by the floods and landslides in the state, especially in Wayanad. The PM has assured to provide any assistance required to mitigate the effects of the disaster.
"Wayanad MP @RahulGandhi spoke to the Prime Minister seeking all possible assistance for the people severely affected by the floods and landslides in the state, especially in Wayanad. The PM has assured to provide any assistance required to mitigate the effects of the disaster," read post on Gandhi's official Wayanad Twitter handle.
Last year's disastrous floods in Kerala claimed over 350 lives across the state.
The shutters of nearly 33 dangerously full dams and reservoirs were opened for the first time in the history of Kerala in nearly a century.
State authorities estimated a cumulative loss worth over Rs 21,000 crore in the catastrophe that was announced as 'calamity of severe nature' by the central government.
A 'Red Alert' spells out a warning for very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall, whereas an 'Orange Alert' denotes that an area is likely to get heavy to very heavy rainfall.
(With inputs from agencies)
Kerala Government has declared a holiday today for all schools across the state. As per reports, more than 315 camps have been set up for assistance and over 20,000 people have been evacuated.