KOCHI: The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) authorities had to close the airport from Thursday as the water level went up breaking all their expectations which they had nurtured after last year’s heavy floods.
The rain has not lashed these parts in the measure as in last year and the airport had to be closed much ahead of an anticipated time and quantity of rain. According to experts, the volume of water carried in the rain in this season is much more on several occasions than that comes usually. “The water collected in the catchment areas of Periyar thus has increased this time which has resulted in the water level in Periyar going up fast, though major dams have not been opened. Moreover the size of the river bed of Periyar has gone up with sand, sludge and silt getting deposited in the last floods. With that the water holding capacity of the river had gone down leading to fast flooding from the river,” said an official engaged in rescue operation who did not want to reveal name.
The same reason is being cited for the fast flooding of the Cochin international airport as well. “We believe that with the increased river bed of Periyar leading to less holding capacity of the river would have led to water flowing in the reverse direction leading to easy flooding from Periyar linked canals. Usually the different canals including Chengal Canal flush out water into Periyar saving airport from flooding. But like last year’s floods, this time when the water level increased in Periyar, the canals flowed in the reverse direction and the drains too flowed in the reverse direction leading to the floods in airport,” said a CIAL official.