With Kerala reeling under the worst floods it has experienced this century, authorities of the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) have said that the airport will not be operational till August 26.
“Kochi airport operation is temporarily suspended up to 1400 hrs on 26.8.2018 due to very high flood situation and key essential facilities like runway, taxiway, apron. nav aids are under submerged condition,” a statement by the CIAL PRO said.
Visuals showed the airport completely submerged in water, and the aeroplanes stationed can be seen in several feet of water. An aerial view showed the level of inundation not just of the airport but also its surrounding areas.
For the time being, all air operations have been moved to the Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram airports, and the Kochi naval base.
256 people have been killed and lakhs have been displaced ever since the monsoons set in in the state on May 29. The last seven days have been devastating for the state, with IMD data showing that, on average, the state has seen a whopping 257% more rainfall between August 9 and August 15.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday told the press that the death toll over the last one week was 67, with 25 people reported dead on Wednesday alone. On Thursday, 46 people had lost their lives by 5 pm, as per official figures.
Metro services have currently resumed in Kochi. The services are free for all on Thursday.
“Kochi Metro has resumed its operations at 4 pm, today, to do its bit in ensuring that help is not denied to the needy who are affected by the floods. All of Kochi Metro's resources will be used to assist rescue missions and hence the services will be free of charge for the day,” the metro officials said.