Due to poor weather, five Middle Eastern flights headed for Kozhikode International Airport were diverted to Kochi airport. Air Arabia from Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, Gulf Air from Bahrain, Air India Express from Abu Dhabi, and Qatar Airways from Doha are among the flights that were diverted. Four of them, with the exception of Qatar Airways, made a return to Kozhikode Airport as the local weather improved. The India Meteorological Department on Thursday issued a red alert for eight districts of Kerala as the state’s ongoing rainstorm.
Districts of Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, and Kannur were put under red alert, indicating heavy to extremely heavy rains of over 20 cm in 24 hours. An Orange alert (very heavy rains of 6 cm to 20 cm) has been declared in the remaining districts except for Thiruvananthapuram, where a Yellow alert is in place. A yellow alert indicates heavy rainfall between 6 and 11 cm.
The Met Department has predicted widespread rains in Kerala from August 4 to 8, and it has warned that the state can expect isolated extremely heavy rainfall over its ghat regions. Water levels in all major rivers across Kottayam and Pathanamthitta are rising fast, and people are being evacuated to relief camps. Over 2,000 people are in relief camps across the State. The shutters of Sholayar and Peringalkuthu Dams were raised at noon today, and the Chalakudy river is in spate.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged people living on the banks of the Chalakudy river to move out as the water flow is likely to increase by evening. He said that those living in the low-lying areas of Thrissur and Ernakulam districts to be cautious. Due to the rains, the Idukki district has declared a holiday on Friday for educational institutions. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in areas in the state likely to be hit by landslides and floods, and air and naval forces put on standby.
(With inputs from ANI)