Several parts of Chennai were underwater for the second consecutive day on Monday with incessant rains continuing to pound the southern metropolis, making it difficult to drain the water out, even as the MeT department forecast “heavy to very heavy rainfall” till November 11.
Four persons lost their lives in rain-related incidents across the state on Monday, while 70 houses have been damaged, the government said.
Though the intensity of the rainfall has come down since Sunday – the city recorded only 7.8 cm of rainfall in the last 24 hours ending at 8.30 am on Monday compared to 21 cm of rainfall received in the previous 24 hours – many localities, especially in north Chennai, remained inundated with people remaining indoors or moving to safety.
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Visuals of knee-deep water in many localities in Vyasarpadi, Perambur, Kolathur, the home constituency of Chief Minister M K Stalin, in north Chennai and Kodambakkam, West Mambalam, and Valasaravakkam in south Chennai dotted social media.
Underpasses and major roads were still waterlogged for the second consecutive day with officials maintaining that the incessant rains are hampering the relief work. A few apartment complexes in upscale Anna Nagar were also flooded prompting the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) to deploy water draining equipment to pump out the floodwater.
Revenue Minister Ramachandran said waterlogging was reported from 290 localities in Chennai and the flood water has been completely drained out in 50 of them. “The efforts to drain the floodwater from the remaining 231 localities are in the full swing. Of the 16 underpasses that reported flooding, 14 have been cleared of water. 75 trees that fell have been cleared,” he told a press conference here.
The city’s woes seems to be far from over with the MeT department predicting “heavy to very heavy rains” in Chennai, and other parts of the state, including the fertile Cauvery Delta region, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Anticipating flooding in several low-lying areas and flood-prone zones, the GCC began deploying boats sourced through the Fisheries Department to evacuate people in the event of them getting stranded.
The civic body has set up community kitchens in all 15 zones to prepare three-square meals for distribution among those affected by floods. The GCC also conducted medical camps in all 200 wards even as the Covid-19 vaccination camp was in the full swing.
“We need to be very careful from November 9 to November 11 as there is an alert for very heavy rainfall. We are taking all precautionary steps across the state,” Ramachandran said. The government also divided the state into 12 ranges and appointed one senior IPS officer for each zone to monitor the relief work.
As rains continue to lash Chennai and its suburbs, the reservoirs that supply drinking water to the metropolis are brimming, forcing the authorities to release excess water. A total of 10,139 cusecs of water were being released from six reservoirs – Poondi, Chembarambakkam, Sholavaram, Puzhal, Veeranam, and Thervai Kandigai – as of Monday evening.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea, even as the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) dispatched two teams to Madurai and one each to Tiruvallur and Chengalpattu districts. Two teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been sent to Thanjavur and Cuddalore.
Stalin, for the second day, visited the rain-affected areas in Chennai, while Opposition Leader Edappadi K Palaniswami also took to the streets charging the DMK government of “under-preparedness” to tackle the North-east Monsoon.
In its forecast, the MeT department said Tamil Nadu, especially the northern districts, will continue to receive heavy to very heavy rains under the influence of a low pressure which is likely to form in the southeast Bay of Bengal on Tuesday.
“It is likely to become more marked and move westnorthwestwards towards north Tamil Nadu coast during the subsequent 48 hours,” the MeT said, adding that thunderstorm with heavy to very heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over Chennai, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam districts and Puducherry,” it said.
Heavy rain is also likely to occur at isolated places over Pudukkottai, Ramanathapuram, Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Tiruppur, Karur, Tiruchirappalli, Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Kallakurichi and Salem districts, the MeT department added.
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