Hoarafushi Airport operation stopped due to tidal surges

Tidal surges due to strong winds and heavy rain in the Northern Maldives leaves Hoarafushi Airport runway covered in sand and coral pieces | Photo: Mihaaru

HA. Atoll, Maldives – As the southern atolls of Maldives have been facing stormy weather for the past few days, due to the tidal surges in HA. Hoarafushi, flights to Hoarafushi Airport have been stopped.

Hoarafushi Council President Mohamed Waheed stated that Hoarafushi is facing huge tidal surges even now. He said that since the tidal surges are happening near the airport and health center, sandbags were being kept in those areas to control flood.

Waheed added that things such as houses being flooded due to rain and houses being damaged due to strong winds, had not happened in Hoarafushi island, but the airport was flooded and damaged.

Waheed noted that from the area of the island that was not closed off with revetments, tidal surges were coming into the airport highway and runway. He added that due to the sand and coral pieces deposited on to the runway, it would not be safe to continue to operate flights.

Hoarafushi Airport, which was just opened last year November 19, faced various damages from strong winds and heavy rain within the past 48 hours with a glass wall had falling off, along with the ceiling being destroyed.

MET office said that sea level will rise in the afternoon. So we have been putting sandbags in the places that are likely to be affected.

Hoarafushi Council President Mohamed Waheed

Along with Hoarafushi, Kulhudhuffushi was also affected by the heavy rain. The roof of one house was also blown off by the strong winds. Kulhudhuffushi Council President Abdul Latheef hassan stated that they were repairing the roof with the help of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).

Even though it is not raining in Kulhudhuffushi, a three-storey school was also affected by the strong winds..

Due to the worsening of weather, National Meteorological Center has announced a yellow alert in the islands from HA. Atoll to V. Atoll. They have also predicted that along with heavy rain, strong wind would blow at 55 miles per hour.

MET Center has said yesterday that considering the huge clouds in the Arabian sea, the occurrence of a hurricane is very likely. Even though Maldives will not be directly affected, many atolls would face even worse storms than current ones.