In the wake of the torrential rainfall, authorities ordered Chennai airport closed due till the floods abate and the downpour stops. All Spicejet, Jet Airways, Indigo, Air India flights and ops have been cancelled or stopped. Not just Chennai airport, Indian Railways trains services were stopped as were bus services as both tracks and roads were submerged.
In view of the water logging, Chennai Airport authorities have shut operations till 6 AM tomorrow.
Chennai rains as well as those across Tamil Nadu have virtually broken a 100-year-old record with one day’s rainfall covering a month’s average have flooded areas in Vadapalani, Valasaravakkam and Nandamvakkam as nearby lakes overflowed into the city.
Meanwhile, all Spicejet flights have been cancelled till tomorrow, while Jet Airways has cancelled all its flights to and from Chennai for today. Budget carrier IndiGo has announced cancellation of all flights from Chennai. “Due to heavy rains causing water logging on the Chennai runway all the inbound and outbound flights to and fro Chennai have been cancelled,” Indigo tweeted. Air India too has cancelled all flights.
Spicejet flights status to Chennai was clarified by the airline through its statement today, “Due to heavy rains and flooding, operations at Chennai airport are temporarily suspended. All passengers are requested to check their flight status before leaving for the airport. All passengers are requested to update their contact information in the PNR through ‘Manage My Booking’.”
The non-stop torrential rains pounding Chennai since last night showed some let up in the morning but the inundated streets left commuters stranded.
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.
Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) is a notice containing information concerning the establishment, condition, or change in any facility, service or procedure, among others, in airspace management.
DG MeT Department Laxman Singh Rathore said, “Extremely heavy rainfall has been occurring for sometime and today Tamil Nadu has witnessed 35 cm of rainfall that has created havoc.
“Its intensity, however, will decrease in the next 48 hours and further by 72 hours but it is likely to continue for five-seven days,” he said.
The NDRF is airlifting another 15 teams to the rain-battered state. While 10 teams are being airlifted from Bhubaneshwar to Tirupati, another five teams are being lifted from Delhi, NDRF DG O P Singh said. However, “we are facing difficulty in bringing them (forces) there as the airport is also not operating,” an official said. Each team comprises 40 personnel. The teams are also carrying 20 inflatable boats along with them for the rescue operations. NDRF DIG and commanding officer have been stationed in Chennai to take stock of the operations, he said.