Valencia airport shuts as lightning strikes runway

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Valencia airport shuts as lightning strikes runway
At least nine incoming flights were diverted to alternative airports. Photo by Jeff Wang / Unsplash

Flights were halted at Valencia airport in eastern Spain on Saturday after lightning and heavy flooding struck the runway following hours of torrential rain, airport officials said.


The storm, which began late on Friday, battered the eastern coastal region with high winds and heavy rain, with the downpour intensifying early on Saturday.

"Valencia airport's runway is no longer operational after being hit by lightning. Repair work will start as soon as possible," Spain's airport operator AENA said on Twitter.

Spain's air traffic control authority Enaire said all flights in and out of the airport had been suspended due to the storm.


"Heavy thunderstorms over Valencia airport have forced the suspension of all take-offs and landings," it tweeted.

According to information posted by Valencia airport, at least nine incoming flights were diverted to alternative airports in Alicante, Barcelona, Ibiza and Madrid.

Runway closed

Flights were initially halted after the runway was waterlogged, the regional emergency services wrote on Twitter, citing airport officials.

"Valencia airport has had to close the runway due to water accumulation, according to the airport's operations centre," it said.

Footage reposted on Twitter by Valencia airport showed fast-moving floodwaters surging down a nearby road, washing over the bonnet of a parked car, while another clip showed hailstones hitting a plane.

Air traffic controllers said the airport was not expected to reopen until 5:00 pm (1600 GMT).

The storm also halted trains on several commuter lines in the Valencia area, state railway operator ADIF said, with the Valencian government saying several metro lines were also affected.


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