Downpour forecast for 48 hours; water being released from reservoirs; two-day holiday for schools
Heavy overnight rain led to flooding in several areas of Chennai on Sunday. Nungambakkam recorded 21.5 cm of rainfall, the highest recorded in a 24-hour period since 2015.
Tamil Nadu has received a 43% surplus rainfall and Chennai registered a 26% excess since October 1.
In pictures | Heavy showers batter Chennai, roads inundated
Following rain in the catchment areas leading to heavy inflows, the State Government gradually began releasing surplus water from reservoirs around Chennai including Poondi and Chembarambakkam. From an initial 500 cusecs, the discharge from Chembarambakkam was increased to 2,000 cusecs in the evening.
With more heavy rain forecast for the city over the next 48 hours, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin announced a two-day holiday for schools in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Chengalpet and Kancheepuram districts. He visited flooded areas in the city and directed officials to ensure food supply for residents displaced and affected by the floods.
Four teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will be deployed in Madurai and Chengalpet, the Chief Minister said, adding that the NDRF, fire and police personnel are also engaged in rescue and relief operations in the city. He also advised those planning to return to the city after the Deepavali break to defer the trip by another two days.
While Chennai received over 20 cm of rainfall, 10 districts including Karur, Tiruvallur, Namakkal, Pudukottai, Sivaganga, Tiruchi, Virudhunagaralso received heavy rain, Mr. Stalin said.
Roads in 166 residential areas including places like Villivakkam, T Nagar, Alwarpet, Pulianthope, Vysarpadi, Velachery, RA Puram, Kolathur, Rajakilpakkam, Avadi, Ambattur, Pallikaranai and Saidapet reported severe waterlogging.
With water logging and fallen trees, traffic was disrupted and diverted in several areas. Subways were closed for vehicle movement during the day as water level rose. Power supply for some areas was cut off due to inundation as a precautionary measure.
Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said the flood monitoring officials have visited the 15 zones to undertake relief measures.
“In addition to 570 pumps in the city at various places, 67 pumps have been used to bale out water. We visited areas such as Kolathur, Villivakkam and Egmore. The problem is that the water did not drain into Korattur Channel, Retteri as well as Kodungaiyur channel, which drains into Buckingham canal. With the high tide, Buckingham Canal was full and the flow of water was slow,” he said.
The Chief Minister also announced one day’s holiday to all State government departments in Chennai on Monday except essential departments such as electricity, PWD, municipal administration, health, revenue, transport and Aavin.
He also requested private companies to consider following suit considering the rainfall situation or to provide work from home option for a day. The Chief Minister also directed officials to conduct regular health camps to prevent the spread of diseases during the monsoon.