The Cochin International Airport resumed operations on Sunday afternoon after staying shut for two days following waterlogging in its runway area, PTI reported. The airport had suspended operations on Friday due to a rise in water level in the Periyar river and an adjacent canal as the state of Kerala faced devastating rain and floods for the second straight year.
The toll due to floods in the state reached 67 even as rain eased in some regions on Sunday. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan met senior officials in the morning to review the situation. Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, whose constituency Wayanad is among the worst-hit parts of the state, began his two-day visit to the state.
Gandhi said he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Wayanad District Collector AR Ajayakumar and Congress workers in the state, PTI reported.
“It is heart-breaking to see what all the people of Wayanad have lost,” he tweeted after visiting his constituency. “We will do everything in our power to help them get back on their feet.”
Gandhi said he Kavalapara, the site of the landslide in Bhoothanam area. “Several people are still trapped and rescue operations are underway but more help is required immediately,” he added.
The toll rose after one body each was recovered in Kozhikode and Alappuzha districts, according to PTI. Two bodies were recovered from the debris of the landslide in Malappuram district, taking the toll there to 11, reported Manorama Online. Several people are still feared trapped under the debris in the two major landslides to have occurred in the state in the last four days, the other being in Wayanad district. On Saturday, Vijayan had said 80 landslides had been reported from eight districts.
“There is hardly any chance of survivors in debris and mud triggered by landslides,” Hindustan Times quoted Vijayan as saying after his review meeting.
The Indian Army, Navy, Coast Guard, National Disaster Response Force and police are carrying out rescue operations with the help of volunteers and fisherfolk. More than 1.65 lakh people were shifted to 1,318 camps across the state by Saturday evening.
A red alert, which stands for a “take action” warning, continued to be in place in Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod districts on Sunday. The India Meteorological Department issues a red alert for the likelihood of heavy to very heavy rain in isolated places. Rain is likely to reduce from Monday as the weather department has not issued any red alert for next week. Six districts have an orange alert for Monday.