Chennai Airport underwater (Pic courtesy NDTV)

All flights between Colombo and Chennai were cancelled today after torrential rains experienced in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu left the runway of Chennai International Airport flooded and closed for all flights. The duty manager at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) told Nation that six flights scheduled to depart for Chennai had to be cancelled.

Among the cancelled flights were those belonging to SriLankan Airlines, Air India and SpiceJet, the duty manager further said.

Meanwhile, SriLankan Airlines released a statement this afternoon noting that it had also suspended four Chennai bound flights, UL121, UL127, UL123 and UL125 scheduled for tomorrow (December 3), in view of the closure of the Chennai International Airport following heavy flooding due to torrential weather conditions in South India.

“SriLankan will resume flights as soon as the Airport resumes operations and the Airline may operate a few extra flights to facilitate the stranded passengers in Chennai,” the statement further said.

Indian media reported that about 4000 people were stranded at the Chennai airport after flights were cancelled, with Tamil Nadu experienced its worst rains in 100 years. Train services have also been cancelled. Schools and universities have been closed.

The Indian Army has been deployed to rescue thousands of people stranded by the floods after two days of heavy rains triggered by a depression in the Bay of Bengal. More torrential rains are expected in the next several days.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jeyaram and had assured her all assistance from the Central Government.