At least 22 people died in rain related incidents in Kerala on Thursday.
The incessant rains caused rivers in the region to swell, urging the authorities to open the shutters of as many as 22 dams.
The inundation has been so severe that the administration was compelled to open the sluice gates of Cheruthoni dam on Idukki reservoir, a first in 26 years.
The heavy downpour, caused by the annual south-west monsoon, has also hampered several flight operations in the Cochin city.
“Water is flowing into the operational area of Cochin International Airport (CIAL). The airport may close with short notice, no long-term parking in CIAL and no diversion from other airports will be permitted till further notification,” read the statement released by the Airport Director of CIAL.
The deluge has ravaged several districts of the state, with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) working in a fire-fighting mode.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed, “We have sought help from the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and NDRF. Three NDRF teams have arrived, two teams to arrive soon and six additional NDRF teams have also been called in. Nehru Trophy Boat Race has been cancelled.”
District Collector of Ernakulam, Mohammed Y Safirulla said that all hands are on deck to tackle the situation.
“Water was released from Edamalayar dam in the morning after which the water level of the Periyar river has increased by one metre, but there is no need to panic, we are in full capacity to handle this and we are on high alert,” said Y Safirulla.
More dams would be opened in the state to tackle the situation.