Due to unceasing heavy rains and flood alert in Chennai, all flights to and fromChennai have been cancelled for the day and the city airport has shut down. The water has also reached the airport flooding the runway.
No flights have taken off or landed in Chennai since Tuesday evening and about 4,000 people are stranded at the Chennai airport.
Incessant rains in the city have also caused the cancellation of almost 19 trains as the waters have also flooded the rail tacks.
According to the Met office, heavy rains are going to continue till the next four days even though it has sopped for a while.
The Chennai Airport Director, Deepak Shastri said, ” Unfortunately, the water level is still rising and there is no way to divert the water. The Adyar river is still overflowing. We are working round the clock. Only if rain recedes, can we resume work. Runway is not flooded, but there is water. We don’t consider operations at the moment safe. The under carriage (of aircraft) are almost touching water level, hence they cannot operate the flights. This kind of situation is likely to continue.
The Airports Authority of India has issued a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) to all air operators in this regard, an AAI spokesperson said in New Delhi. The spokesperson said Chennai airport authorities had initially shut operations till this morning but due to incessant rains it has now decided to extend it till 6 AM tomorrow.
The National Disaster Response Force, the Indian Navy and the Indian Army have begun the rescue process of evacuating people who are standed in their homes.