Kochi airport to reopen on Aug 29, Navy ends rescue ops in Kerala

The Asian Age / PTI

India, All India

CIAL extended the date since 90 pc of the airport staffers were badly hit due to the devastating floods in the region.

Kochi airport was shut down after it was flooded due to incessant rains. (Photo: File | ANI)

KochiThe Kochi airport which was shut due to severe flooding will now open on August 29 instead of the earlier date of August 26. 

The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) said in a statement that the date was extended due to the concern expressed by the stakeholders of the airlines. 

The CIAL also said that 90 per cent of their staffers were affected by the floods. Thus, the date was extended and operations will now resume on August 29.

After intense rescue operations, the Southern Naval command on Wednesday called off its 14-day long operation in flood-hit Kerala, saying there were no more requests for evacuation as waters were receding in affected areas. 

It also said Naval personnel rescued a total of 16,005 people during 'Operation Madad', launched on August 9 for assisting the state administration and undertaking disaster relief operations. 

"The Southern Naval Command recalled all rescue teams deployed for #OperationMadad as flood waters receded and no more requests for rescue were received," a Defence release said. 

Besides the Navy, personnel of the Army, the Air Force and Coast Guard were also involved in the rescue and relief operations along with civil administration. 

Army's Southern Command chief Lt Gen D R Soni had on Monday said its personnel would continue to be engaged in the rescue operations in flood-hit Kerala till the situation stabilised. 

The Defence forces were involved in several daring rescue acts such as the air-lifting of a pregnant woman, winching up of a two-year-old which won them widespread appreciation. 

The Navy said that in addition to the rescue of the marooned, ten air sorties amounting to 15 hours of flying were undertaken by various naval aircraft, mainly for air dropping of relief supplies especially food and medicines. 

Relief materials including fresh water, provisions, ready to eat meals and medicines which arrived onboard two ships of the Western Naval Command were distributed in various localities in coordination with the civil administration. 

The Naval airport was being used in view of the closure of the international airport at nearby Nedumbassery in the wake of floods. 

Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, and Indigo operated ATR 72 aircraft during the day. The air station was also extensively used to airlift medical teams, food and medicines as required by the state government so that the relief supplies could quickly reach the needy people, the release said.