Transport in South India severely disrupted due to floods
29 August 2018
Early this month, the South-Indian state of Kerala was struck by the most severe floods in a 100 years. 850,000 people fled, and many hundreds were killed by the natural disaster. Furthermore, buildings have collapsed and roads have become obstructed. Unsurprisingly, this affects trade in the Kerala region and, in turn, in the city of Cochin, which is located in this state. Our agent in Cochin keeps us updated on a daily basis.
Offices and factories closed down
The floods, which are caused by monsoon rains, have disrupted life in 14 of the 16 districts of Kerala. Roads have been washed away, and, until recently, about 50% of the region was submerged. Unsurprisingly, offices and factories have been closed down. The office of our agent in Cochin has likewise been closed. This limits the possibility of communication.
Interior transport difficult
At the moment, transport by road in Kerala is practically impossible. The roads and bridges between Cochin and Tirupur have been washed away in many places. An estimated 10,000 kilometres of road have been affected. This makes transport of goods to and from the harbour and the airport barely possible or even impossible. Expectations are that it will be a long while before the damage to the roads is repaired.
Meanwhile, railway transport is slowly increased to all stations. As a precaution, trains are not allowed to go faster than 30 km/h.
Overseas transport to and from Cochin
The harbour of Cochin is currently available and operational for transport by sea. The airport is currently closed due to flooding, but these problems are expected to be resolved soon. Our agent in India reports that the airport will open again on Sunday, August 26th.
However, many people have fled the area, which means that there is barely any staff for loading and unloading. Combined with the fact that goods transport is barely possible, international goods transport is virtually immobilised across the board.
The monsoon season in the state of Kerala will last until September. On top of that, as described above, there are many factors that affect transport recovery. This is why it is difficult to predict when trade to Cochin will be restored again. For the time being, count on delays to and from this region.
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