Rain red alert issued for TN on Sunday

Rain red alert issued for TN on Sunday

In the alert, the IMD has forecast some areas in the state would receive 25 cm of rainfall on Sunday. (PTI file photo)

A red alert was issued by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) to Tamil Nadu asking it to be prepared to face extremely heavy rainfall on October 7.

The alert, which has been issued for the entire state, sent the state disaster management authorities to “precautionary mode” as advisories were issued to district collectors to take necessary steps to prevent any damage.

The red alert for heavy rains is issued if the IMD predicts one or more areas might receive rainfall of more than 25 cm. The IMD said the red alert was issued due to a severe storm that was developing in the Arabian sea.

“A low-pressure area is very likely to form over Southeast Arabian sea by tomorrow. It is very likely to concentrate into a depression during the subsequent 36 hours and move north-westwards,” S Balachandran, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Chennai told reporters here.

The alert came even as several parts of Tamil Nadu received heavy rainfall since Wednesday night forcing authorities in five districts — Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Salem, Tiruvarur and Pudukkottai — to announce holiday for schools. Chennai too experienced incessant rains through Thursday leading to heavy traffic snarls across the city.

The IMD, in its bulletin, said Tamil Nadu and Kerala are likely to witness fairly widespread rain/thundershowers with heavy / very heavy rains at isolated places in the next four to five days. “Ghat areas of Tamil Nadu and adjoining parts of Kerala are also likely to experience isolated extremely heavy rainfall around October 7,” the bulletin further said. 

In Madurai, Revenue Minister R B Uthayakumar said a total of 4,399 “vulnerable spots” have been identified across the state and these areas would come under constant monitoring of officials on Sunday. He also said over 30,000 first responders, a team of volunteers and locals well-versed with the topography of the area, would be involved in precautionary measures.

“There is no need to panic. These alerts are issued to ensure that the state government is prepared (for any eventuality). All steps have been taken to ensure that there is no problem,” he said, adding that inflow and outflow of water in major reservoirs across the state are being monitored round-the-clock.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami will hold a review meeting with ministers, officials and district collectors on Friday to check the preparedness of the government machinery. Tamil Nadu is dependent on northeast monsoon for drinking water and irrigation purposes.

This is the first time in three years that Tamil Nadu has been issued a red alert for rains. In 2015, when the last red alert was issued, the city of Chennai was swamped as the majority of the areas were under the water for days together.

The city’s lone airport was closed for a week, buses were off the roads and major roads were inundated due to excess release of water from the city’s reservoirs and heavy rains.