Cyclone Michaung: Chennai Airport closes due severe flooding

Chennai Airport flooding - heavy rain surrounds an aircraft on the tarmac.
Photo via Vaibhavi Limaye/Twitter X

Chennai International Airport (MAA) has suspended flight operations today up till 11 PM local time due to severe flooding associated with Cyclone Michaung.

This marks the first forced closure of the airport since flooding in Chennai in 2015 resulted in the shutdown of the airport facility for four days.

Channai Airport (MAA) Flooding

The severe weather has resulted in over 30 flights being diverted to Bengaluru Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) on December 4 amid the severe impacts of the cyclonic storm.

Approximately 70 flight arrivals and departures have been affected at Chennai airport, and footage currently circulating on social media shows the severity of the inundation on tarmacs and apron areas.

Video footage and screenshot via Vaibhavi Limaye @LimayeVaibhavi/Twitter X

The airside flooding at the Chennai facility is severe, with ground operations attending parked aircraft clearly struggling against heavy rain and wind conditions amid the inundation.

Several areas of Chennai city were subsequently closed due to similar strong flooding, with authorities moving to close offices and schools; evacuating people from affected areas.

Cyclone Michaung Movement

Cyclone Michaung is currently moving in a west-northwesterly direction, intensifying in severity into a severe cyclonic storm.

According to a Times of India report, the cyclone is expected to make landfall somewhere between Nellore and Machilipatnam by the afternoon of Tuesday December 5.

Update 16:30 UTC Monday 4th

The Chennai Airport closure has now been extended until 09:00AM local time on Tuesday 5 December due to flooding and inundation.

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Chennai Airport (MAA) has suspended flight operations today up till 11 PM local time due to severe flooding associated with Cyclone Michaung.
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