20 Dead As Rain Pounds Kerala, Kochi Airport Stops Arrivals

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Thiruvananthapuram: At least twenty people have been killed in Kerala in landslides due to heavy rain across the state. The Kochi airport has suspended all arrivals at the international and domestic terminals from this afternoon fearing flooding of the runway after the gates of the Idukki reservoir was opened today.

The authorities are anticipating that the water level in the river Periyar may increase further once the water from Cheruthoni dam reaches the area. Airport authorities said as of now, the departure of flights will not be affected. The decision to suspend arrivals was made keeping in mind the runway flooding in 2013 from Periyar.

Eleven people were killed in Idukki district, six in Malappuram, two in Kozhikode and one in Wayanad because of the heavy rain. Several people have also been reported missing in Palakkad, Wayanad and Kozhikode, according to officials.

Relief camps have been opened in two villages in Ernakulam, the home district of Kochi airport, anticipating inundation due to the release of water in neighbouring Idukki.

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