Seems that there has been heavy rain in French Polynesia over the past two days that has led to flooding and closure of the airport.
Air France flight from Los Angeles to Papeete was diverted to Cook Islands. Air Tahiti Nui canceled two Los Angeles – Papeete flights on Sunday and has rescheduled them for Monday (unclear when the airport will reopen).
Here an excerpt from Reuters (access the piece here):
Heavy flooding in French Polynesia has forced many residents to evacuate, cut off power to thousands of homes, and closed Tahiti’s international airport.
An Air France flight was diverted to the Cook Islands because the runway was flooded, and international flights were canceled.
“The weather forecast predicts rain until Tuesday,” Frederic Poisot, cabinet director of the French Polynesia Haut Commissariat told Reuters, adding authorities had not decided when to re-open the airport.
And from Radio New Zealand (access the piece here):
Many streets in Papeete have been flooded and a bridge along the northwestern coastal road collapsed, cutting the main road around the island.
Schools on the two islands will remain closed tomorrow to continue the clean-up.
The international airport is closed until further notice as crews try to remove debris from the runway.
Anyone flying on Air Tahiti Nui after the Papeete airport reopens should check that their schedule is intact. Considering that Air Tahiti Nui only has a handful of planes, having them stranded in Los Angeles and other airports will affect flights for days.
Wouldn’t mind being stranded for few days in French Polynesia if the weather would be better and electricity running.