Kerala Floods | Indian Air Force airlifts a person in flood affected Pathanamthitta

Footage shows the perilous journeys taken during unprecedented floods in Kerala which have left dozens dead

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's office announced on Twitter that Kochi's worldwide airport - the main gateway to the region - would be closed until Saturday "due to heavy rains and resultant flooding".

Massive landslides in Malappuram killed nine persons, including six of a family. "The situation is bad in many parts of the state and the number [of deaths] will likely increase", said a senior official from the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority. "Kochi Metro train operation is suspended as the water level rises in Muttom yard area", a KMRL statement said. The water was knee-deep to ankle-deep.

Cochin International Airport has provided emergency numbers on its website. Authorities have diverted all incoming and outgoing flights to Thiruvananthapuram or Kozhikode. A Jet Airways flight from Doha and an Indigo plane from Dubai were sent to Bangalore. "We don't normally operate to TRV, and have made special arrangements", it said. Kochi Airport has suspended all its operations until August 18, as water has entered the runway. A favourite for Malayalis travelling overseas, the airport handles 35 worldwide departures and 29 arrivals every day.

Hundreds of villages have been flooded and the military has been called in to help with rescues. In the morning hours, passengers faced problems due to suspension of operations as they had already reached the airport to catch flights. "I also asked the Prime Minister to speak to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister about bringing down the water level in Mullaperiyar dam", the CM said. This led to flooding of parts of Nedumbassery, where the airport is located, and Aluva in Ernakulam.

The Cochin International Airport was closed till Saturday afternoon as water released from the Idukki dam flooded the area.

The worst flood the coastal state has witnessed in almost a century has severely affected road and rail transportation in the state and has forced people to move to relief camps.

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Among those who had to be shifted from their homes were veteran Congress leader and former State party President V.M. Sudheeran and his wife. On the directions of the Prime Minister, Cabinet Secretary chaired a high-level meeting.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, told this newspaper that his party had asked all elected representatives to aid relief work on the ground. The State has requested around Rs 12 billion from the central government for immediate relief and rehabilitation.

"Our state is in the midst of an unprecedented flood havoc", Vijayan said earlier this week.

"People living close to the banks of Periyar, which flows through Ernakulam, Idukki and Thrissur districts should comply with the directions issued by District Collectors of these districts and move to relief camps", said the Chief Minister's Office.

Working with state government to ensure proper movement as much as possible in given situation. It's time to step up & help.

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