Swell waves flood Thimarafushi airport runway

The Thaa Atoll Thimarafushi Airport runway has been hit by high swell waves.

According to Thimarafushi Council President Hussein Shareef, waves flooded approximately 150- 250 foot along the runway and covered it with waste.

The airport fence was also destroyed, he said.

Only one flight was scheduled out of Thimarafushi today. The flight departed at 9:40 am before the waves hit.

According to Channel News Maldives (CNM), part of Rathafandhoo Island in southern Gaaf Dhall atoll also was also flooded with swell waves this morning.

Islanders told CNM that water had come up to one feet in some areas and an area measuring 700 foot on the north eastern side of the island.

Several islands in the Maldives have reported flooding from swell or udha waves since the onset of the wet season in June.

Udha is a common phenomenon in the Maldives, particularly during the south-west monsoon, and is often associated with changes in ‘Nakaiy’ – the fortnightly intervals of the Maldives’ unique weather calendar.

A local environmentalist familiar with the Nakaiy system said Udha waves are connected to the moon, gravity, and changes in winds and said it is a completely normal natural phenomenon but that it could harm islands which are already eroding.