Heavy rainfall causes flooding at airport

Heavy rainfall causes flooding at airport
April 10 16:24 2016

Heavy rainfall over the weekend caused flooding at the Maldives’ main airport and sewer overflows in the capital Malé.

Hassan Arif, the Maldives Airport Company Ltd.’s spokesman, said continuous rainfall on Friday and Saturday caused roofs to leak and drains to overflow at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.

“We were able to unclog the drains and control the flooding in less than 15 minutes,” he said. “However, service was not interrupted and no property damage was incurred.”

The rainfall marks the onset of the southwest monsoon, which begins with heavy rain showers followed by months of blistering heat.

Maldivians reacted with derision to the frequent flooding at the airport.

President Abdulla Yameen unveiled last week a US$800million plan to upgrade and renovate the airport. Half of the cost has been secured through Chinese EXIM bank loans.

Meanwhile in Malé sewers overflowed on Majeedhee Magu and Orchid Magu, but the health ministry said it posed minimal health risks because residents do not consume ground water.

“However, we have identified a surge in the cases of viral fever and diarrhoea during seasons of heavy continuous rain which triggers overflows of the sewage system,” Dr Asma Ibrahim at the Health Protection Agency said.

Flooding in Malé continues to be a concern during the rainy season. But successive governments have failed to address the problem.