Kochi(Kerala): Five flights from the Middle East bound for the Kozhikode International Airport has been diverted to Kochi airport due to bad weather.
The diverted flights include Air Arabia from Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, Gulf Air from Bahrain, Air India Express from Abu Dhabi and Qatar Airways from Doha.
Of these four flights (except Qatar Airways) returned to Kozhikode airport as the weather condition in Kozhikode became favourable.
A red alert was declared in 8 districts of Kerala on Thursday by the India Meteorological Department as rain continued to lash the state.
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 level 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 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.