Worst flood in a century kills 43 in India's Kerala

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

Expressing concern over the flood situation in Kerala, Congress president Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to make a fervent appeal to people for help by contributing to the chief minister's relief fund.

The official added that authorities had issued a "red-alert" warning in all 14 districts of the flood-ravaged state, with heavy downpours expected over the next 24 hours in numerous worst affected areas. "All are requested to cooperate", the spokesperson said.

There were also speed restrictions on trains on the Thiruvananthapuram-Thrissur section while rail traffic on the Kollam-Punalur-Sengottai section has been suspended.

Hundreds of houses have been damaged by floods, rain and landslides.

Etihad said: "Due to heavy rains and risk of flooding, Cochin Airport is temporarily closed".

The shutters of 35 of the 39 dams in Kerala, including the 123-year-old Mullaperiyar Dam, have been opened for the first time in history, leaving large areas of the state at the risk of floods. Transport services have been disrupted with floodwaters cutting off access to road links and inundating railway tracks and entering into Kochi airport.




"We chose to take this step because since last night dams like Idukki, Mullaperiyar, Idamalayar have opened their shutters". Now, the Mullaperiyar dam upstream is almost full, and the water level is likely to top up by noon, after which authorities will have to release this water, which will flood Periyar forest reserve and other areas.

On Wednesday the airport operations were shut down till Saturday afternoon.

The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), which chose to suspend the arrival operations at 4 am to 7 am today as a precautionary measure, had earlier said the airport would be shut till 2 pm. The Kerala Chief Minister's Office said they are releasing water whenever it reaches the highest storage level. The rains are expected to subside by early next week.

The chief secretary was asked to contact neighbouring states for emergency assistance.

Working with state government to ensure proper movement as much as possible in given situation. 10 out of the 14 districts are severely affected. He has been living at his workplace since Wednesday while his daughter, accompanied by his sister and family, lives in a relief camp set up by members of a local political party.

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