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Extreme rough seas in Nothern Atolls; flights to Hoarafushi Airport halted

Lamya Abdulla
14 May 2021, MVT 16:27
Damages to Hoarafushi due to surge waves
Lamya Abdulla
14 May 2021, MVT 16:27

Due to wave surges caused by extreme weather in the Northern Atolls, scheduled flights to Haa Alif Hoarafushi Airport were temporarily halted on Friday.

Speaking to local media Mihaaru, the President of Hoarafushi Council Mohamed Waheed had said that the island was getting surge waves on Friday afternoon.

The waves were coming into the area the airport and the Health Center was located. The council has been working to arrange sandbags so as to stop and limit the flooding in the area.

No trees have fallen in the harsh winds, no flooding of homes, Waheed had said. However the surge waves in the airport built in the reclaimed land has faced greater property damage, he said.

In-land area of Hoarafushi flooded due to surge waves

The scheduled flights were stopped as a large number of rocks and sand now cover the runway of the airport, following the waves from that area.

Winds have damaged the terminal building of the airport as well. A glass panel fell, while the ceiling has been further damaged.

"MET has said the tide would be higher in the afternoon, so we have prepared by placing sand bags in areas we believe are most likely to flood," Waheed said.

Multiple islands in North facing extreme weather

In addition to Hoarafushi, Uligamu, Thuraakunu, and Dhiddhoo from Haa Alif atoll are facing surging waves while three atolls from Shaviyani Atoll also reported the same as per the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said. They are Milandhoo, Funadhoo and Komandoo

Harsh winds removed the roof of a house and damaged one of the buildings in the Kulhudhufushi School, President of Kulhudufushi Council Abdul-Latheef Hassan has said.

NDMA stated that both Police and Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) were assisting the council in temporarily fixing the houses that had faced damages.

The heavy rains on Wednesday lead to 176 houses to be damaged due to water while 270 houses in Fuvahmulah also got damaged. Flood control was done late into Thursday in both the islands.

MET announcing white alert for northern atolls

Maldives Meteorology Services (MET) issued an orange alert from Haa Alif Atoll to Lhaviyani Atoll till 1715hrs Friday. Torrential rain, flooding, and gusts of wind with the windspeed 34-40 mph was to be expected.

MET had extended the white alert they had announced from Meemu to Laamu Atoll till 1730hrs earlier in Thursday as well.