Watch: Rain abates in Kerala as first commercial flight lands in Kochi naval air base

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 20, 2018, 09:09 AM(IST)

As the first commercial flight landed at INS Garuda Kochi Naval air station, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the intensity of rainfall in Kerala will reduce from today for the next four to five days. Photograph:( ANI )

As the first commercial flight landed at INS Garuda Kochi Naval air station, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the intensity of rainfall in Kerala will reduce from today for the next four to five days.

Also Read: Indian Navy steps up rescue, relief efforts in flood-hit Kerala

Kerala is not expected to receive heavy rainfall from August 20, Mritunjay Mohapatra, IMD Additional Director General said. Mohapatra added that the southern state received 170 per cent more rainfall than normal from August 1 to August 17.

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Meanwhile, the water discharge from Idukki, Idamalayar, Peringalkuthu and Sabarigir dams have been reduced. The state government on Sunday withdrew red alert for the districts of Ernakulam and Idukki.

Alliance Air's first flight from Bengaluru landed at the Garuda Kochi Naval Base on Monday. The 70-seater passenger plane will fly between Bengaluru and Kochi Naval Base, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted on Sunday.

On Sunday, an Alliance Air, a subsidiary of the state-run carrier Air India, landed at the Kochi naval base carrying a team of officers from the aviation regulator DGCA, the Airports Authority of India and other flight safety officers to test whether the base could be used for commercial flight landings.

Commodore RR Iyer hailed the operation and said: "It's a historic day as the airport is back into civil operations. Substantial work done to ensure all facilities are available and support is given for aircraft to operate. We've segregated parking bays so that unhindered operations take place," as quoted by ANI. 

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The NDMA also said more than 33,000 people have been rescued by different agencies from the flood-affected areas of the state. Over 6.33 lakh people are currently staying in relief camps, it added.

"Rainfall will further decrease during the next five days. Heavy rain at one or two places in Idukki, Konnur and Kozhikode districts likely on Sunday. No heavy rain from tomorrow for the next four days," PTI quoted NDMA as saying.

Thirteen more people died on Sunday in the flood-hit state, increasing the death toll to 370.

Kerala has so far received 2346.6 mm rains against the normal of 1649.5 mm, according to IMD.

High-range Idukki recorded the highest excess rainfall (92 per cent above normal) followed by Palakkad (72 per cent above normal). Around 22,000 people were rescued on Sunday alone in the operations launched by the defence personnel, national and state disaster response forces, fishermen and local people.

These two districts had reported several deaths and massive destructions due to flooding and landslides.

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