Porto Alegre Airport is closed until further notice due to storm – MercoPress

Porto Alegre airport is closed until further notice due to storms

Saturday May 4, 2024 – 10:47 UTC

Travelers were advised to contact the airlines for more information about their flights
Travelers were advised to contact the airlines for more information about their flights

In an effort to ensure the safety of both employees and passengers, Salgado Filho Airport, which serves the city of Porto Alegre, capital of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, announced that it would suspend all operations until further notice, Agencia Brasil reported. The state of Gaúcho is experiencing a severe storm and the subsequent flooding has already claimed the lives of almost 40 people. This number is expected to increase given the number of people still missing.

Fraport, the consortium that manages the airport terminal, said in a statement that landings and take-offs have been suspended indefinitely since 8 p.m. Friday to ensure the safety of staff and passengers in light of the disastrous situation caused by the heavy rains in Rio Grande do Sul. Travelers were advised to contact the airlines for more information about their flights.

So far, 39 deaths have been reported in Rio Grande do Sul due to the rains that have hit the state since the beginning of this week. According to the Civil Protection, 68 people are missing.

More than 8,000 people have already been rescued by the integrated security forces and 24,000 are left homeless.

Latam Airlines said flights to Porto Alegre and from the capital to other locations had been canceled until Saturday afternoon (4). Flights between Caxias do Sul (RS) and Passo Fundo (RS) will continue, but may be affected by rain. For passengers flying on Sunday (5), the company offers free rebooking.

Azul has canceled takeoffs and landings until Sunday afternoon (5). The company also said that passengers whose flights have been canceled will receive more information via the Azul app, WhatsApp, email and the company’s website. Customers with tickets booked for the next few days can reschedule their flights or request a cancellation in exchange for credit toward future travel.

Gol has canceled all arrivals and departures until 11:59 PM on Sunday. The company also accepts flight rebookings at no additional cost. The amount will be credited to future flights. This applies to arrivals and departures from the airports of Porto Alegre, Caxias do Sul, Passo Fundo, Pelotas, Santo Ângelo and Chapecó (SC).

The state government has counted 265 of the 497 municipalities affected. Governor Eduardo Leite said the situation is still critical, especially in the central, valley and mountain areas. He also warned residents of Porto Alegre and the metropolitan region who could be affected by the flooding of Lake Guaíba.

“All security systems are being tested by a very large and persistent volume of water. Any rupture could cause a wave, sweeping people away, injuring them and even endangering people’s lives,” Leite warned.

Governor Eduardo Leite said technical information shows the Taquari River should continue to fall in the coming hours. “Given the amount of rainfall in the northeast of the state, in the rivers that contribute to the Taquari, we expect river levels to continue to fall and not rise again. But we still have to be very careful,” he said.

The state government is also monitoring the situation of the Gravataí, Jacuí and dos Sinos rivers, as well as the Guaíba and 14 de Julho dams, which partially broke on Thursday (2). Another river basin to be monitored from Friday is the Uruguay River, due to rain forecasts for the coming days in the north and northeast of the state.

Leite emphasized that despite the state’s financial problems, there will be no shortage of state resources for municipalities to restore normality. “We are going to get money from wherever we can to provide services to all people,” he guaranteed, adding that the money will be passed directly to the municipalities, without any bureaucracy.

The commander of the Southern Joint Command of Operation Taquari 2, General Hertz Pires do Nascimento, said it had not yet been possible to set up the field hospital in Estrela due to the difficult access to the region. According to him, the construction comes from Rio de Janeiro to set up another field hospital, equipped with a surgical center, which can be installed anywhere in the state.

More than 100 people have died in weather-related disasters in the state since last year. (Source: Agencia Brazil)