Chennai sees highest single day rainfall since 2015 floods

People in many areas of the city woke up to flooded streets, reminiscent of the December flood of 2015.
A man walking with an umbrella in a flooded street in Chennai
A man walking with an umbrella in a flooded street in Chennai
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Chennai witnessed the heaviest single day rain between Saturday, November 6 and Sunday, November 7 since the devastating floods of 2015.  The Director-General of Police’s office recorded 230 mm of rain. Nungambakkam received rainfall of 215 mm, Chennai airport 113 mm from 8.30 am on Saturday to 8.30 am on Sunday. On December 1, 2015 Chennai had received 494 mm of rainfall over a 24 hour window, leading to the deaths of around 250 people. Chennai was declared a disaster zone on December 2, 2015.

People in many areas of the city woke up on Sunday to flooded streets. Scenes from Mambalam show evacuations by boat of people needing emergency care from a private hospital in the area after the hospital lost power connection. Waterlogging is being reported in Mylapore, Velachery, T Nagar and other parts of the city. 

The EMU suburban train service between Beach Station and Egmore has been stopped as there is flooding on the tracks. 

Chief Minister Stalin visited areas in North Chennai to review the flood situation along with the Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner (GCP) Gagandeep Singh Bedi. Chennai MLAs have been directed to visit their constituencies to do the same. State Health Minister Ma Subramanian was seen at his Saidapet constituency earlier today.

The IMD has predicted more rains in the city. Thunderstorms with heavy to very heavy rains are expected over the next few hours in Chennai and in Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu districts. Salem, Dharmapuri, Vellore, Ranipettai, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Ariyalur, Perambur, Madurai, Virudhunagar, Sivagangai, Thirunelveli, Thenkasi, Kanyakumari and Ramanathapuram districts will receive heavy rains and thunderstorm on Sunday.

The Regional Meteorological Centre in Chennai issued a statement that an upper air cyclonic circulation lies over southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining equatorial Indian ocean extending up to 4.5 km above mean sea level. This is expected to cause a low-pressure area over southeast Bay of Bengal, likely on November 9, which may cause increased rainfall in the next 48 hours.  Coastal Tamil Nadu will receive heavy rainfall and squally winds from November 9 to 12.

The Tiruvallur Collectorate announced earlier today  that 3,000 cubic feet per second of water will be released from Poondi reservoir from 09:00 am onwards. Similarly 1,000 cubic feet per second of water is to be released from Puzhal Lake. 500 cubic feet per second will be released from Chembarambakkam Lake this afternoon from 1:30pm onwards.

In 2015, it was the failure to release water from the Chembarambakkam Lake in a timely manner that played a huge role in the disastrous flooding. TNM had reported then that according to a Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report, just Chembarambakkam Lake had been enough to sink Chennai. The CAG report pointed to glaring errors such as “imprudent and injudicious release of water”, absence of scientific real-time flood forecasting and communication facilities, and lack of monitoring in release of water at the reservoir.

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