The Jakarta Post
Heavy rain accompanied by lightning and strong winds on Monday affected eight flights to Sam Ratulangi Airport in Manado, North Sulawesi.
“Eight flights have been diverted due to bad weather in Manado for the safety of passengers. Heavy rain has been pouring since early morning,” the airport’s communication and legal manager, Angga Maruli, told The Jakarta Post.
Batik Air flight 6270 from Jakarta and Lion Air flight JT 942 from Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, were diverted to Ambon Pattimura Airport in Maluku.
Three other flights, namely Lion Air flight JT 778 from Makassar, South Sulawesi, Wings Air flight IW 1179 from Kao, North Maluku, and Lion Air flight JT 736 from Surabaya, East Java, were diverted to Gorontalo Airport.
In addition, Garuda Indonesia flight GA 600 from Jakarta and Lion Air flight JT 776 from Denpasar, Bali, were diverted to Sultan Hasanuddin Airport in Makassar.
Meanwhile, one international flight, Garuda Indonesia flight GA 7402 from Davao, Philippines, was diverted to Ternate Airport in North Maluku.
There were still 68 flights both arriving and departing from Sam Ratulangi Airport that have yet to be canceled or diverted, Antara News Agency reported.
Zulkifly Madina, a passenger of Batik Air flight 6270 from Soekarno Hatta International Airport to Manado, confirmed that the plane had been diverted to Ambon Pattimura Airport.
The plane was supposed to take off at 9:40 a.m. from Jakarta but the flight was delayed until 10:10 a.m. He said that during the flight to Manado, heavy rain fell and black clouds covered the aircraft’s range.
“The pilot announced that visibility was hampered and we had to delay landing for 15 minutes. The pilot made the decision to land at the nearest airport in Ambon,” he told the Post over the phone.
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reported that North Sulawesi is expected to experience high rainfall for several days, with some parts predicted to have moderate to heavy rain coupled with lightning and strong winds.
Some areas in the province with potential high rainfall are Manado, Bitung, Tomohon, Minahasa, Bolaang Mongondow and Sitaro. (syk)