Cyclone Vardah: Muscat-Chennai flights hit after cyclone landfall in India

Oman Monday 12/December/2016 15:34 PM
By: Times News Service
Cyclone Vardah: Muscat-Chennai flights hit after cyclone landfall in India

Muscat: A number of flights from Oman to Chennai have been cancelled after a very severe cyclone made its landfall in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu (TN).
Oman Air yesterday cancelled its flight to Chennai from Muscat and Air India in Muscat was waiting for updates from its New Delhi office.
Vardah, the severe cyclone, made its landfall with heavy rainfall accompanied by wind speed of 120kmph.
Oman Air tweeted on its official twitter handle that it had cancelled its flight to Chennai.
“Flight WY253 MCT-MAA, December 12, was cancelled due to bad weather. We apologise for the inconvenience caused,” the tweet read.
An official from Air India office in Muscat said that they were waiting for updates.
“We fly late night at around 23 hours daily to Chennai from Muscat. We are waiting for an update from New Delhi office,” the official added. In a tweet, the airline tweeted that Chennai airport is closed down till 17:30 hrs.
“#AIUpdate : #Chennai Airport closed down till 1730 hrs due to bad weather conditions. Will resume operations post 1730 hrs. #Cyclone Vardah,” the airline tweeted.
Jet Airways said in a tweet that due to adverse weather they have cancelled their arrivals and departures.
“Due to adverse weather (#Vardah) at #Chennai, all our arrivals & departures to & from Chennai for December 12 stand cancelled,” the airline tweeted.
Many from Muscat depend on Jet Airways connection flights from Chennai.
Meanwhile, media reported that at least two people have been killed and thousands evacuated from coastal areas in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Schools and businesses were shut and airport services suspended. Teams from the army and National Disaster Relief Force, along with two naval ships, are on standby.
India’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said that a “storm surge” will be about one metre (three feet) high.
The NDMA has warned fishermen not to venture to sea for the next 36 hours, and urged residents to stay in safe places.
According to officials, more than 23,000 people in Tamil Nadu have been moved to relief centres, with plans for tens of thousands more to be evacuated.
The storm comes about a year after Chennai experienced devastating floods which killed 70 people.
In December 2011, more than 30 people died and many homes were damaged after a cyclone struck near the town of Pondicherry.
And in May 2010 at least 23 people died as a powerful cyclone caused widespread havoc across Andhra Pradesh.