Kerala rains: School, colleges, airport closed till Sunday
New Delhi : Amid heavy rainfall in the Southern state Kerala, the authorities have announced that the school and colleges will remain shut on Friday; while Kochi airport operations have been suspended till Sunday due to water logging.
The water level in Periyar river and a canal near the airport has been rising.
According to reports, at least 17 people have been killed in the floods since Thursday. The death toll is expected to rise with time.
The Kerala government said a red alert - likelihood of very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall - has been issued for four districts: Wayanad, Idukki, Malappuram and Kozhikode.
The Chief Minister of the state Pinarayi Vijayan also met the officials of the State Disaster Management Authority to oversee rescue operation on Thursday.
"We strongly recommend that your communications plan include a backup means. Keep your phone charged. Follow instructions from local officials. Listen to instructions regarding evacuation or sheltering. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately," Mr Vijayan tweeted.
The rescuers are finding it difficult to navigate around the debris due to multiple low-intensity landslides in Wayanad, official said, adding this area has not seen a landslide in 20 years.
Over 22,000 people have been evacuated from flooded areas in several districts, and Wayanad has the most number of relief camps at 315, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority said.
"The flood situation in my parliamentary constituency, Wayanad is grim. I'm monitoring the situation closely & have spoken to the Kerala CM and key Govt officials to expedite relief," Rahul Gandhi tweeted.