The Chennai international airport will remain shut till December 6, said Airports Authority of India on Wednesday after the runway was flooded owing to heavy rain.
“Chennai Aerodrome has been closed up to 12 noon of December 6, 2015. The situation is being closely monitored and any further action will be taken subject to review for resumption of services as soon as possible,” the AAI, which runs the airport, said in a statement.
The AAI’s decision follows a prediction by the IMD that there will be rain for the next 72 hours in Chennai and its suburbs, with the next 48 hours being “very crucial.”
Earlier in the day, AAI chairman R K Srivastava told reporters that nearly 1,500 passengers had been evacuated from the airport. A total of 3,500 people, including passengers and staffers, were stranded at the airport on Wednesday morning, he added. He said that 33-35 aircraft have been grounded and 119 flights cancelled since 8pm on Tuesday due to the calamity.
Meanwhile, Arakkonam, Tirupati, Tambaram and Trichy airfields will be utilised for rescue and relief operations.