The weather department has forecast isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall over several parts of Tamil Nadu, south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema.

Two people take shelter under an umbrella while riding on a bike amid heavy rainfall in Tamil NaduImage for representation: PTI
news Tamil Nadu rains Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 12:34

A red warning has been issued for six districts of Tamil Nadu with heavy rains being forecast due to the depression that formed over the Bay of Bengal. A red warning was issued for Cuddalore, Villupuram, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Chennai, and Tiruvallur, as well as the Union Territory of Puducherry. “A depression has formed over southwest Bay of Bengal at 8.30 am today,  about 310 km southeast of Chennai. It may move west-northwestwards and cross north TN and adjoining south AP coasts by the early morning of November 19,” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

The weather department has forecast isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall over several parts of Tamil Nadu, south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema over the next 24 hours. In Tamil Nadu, schools have been shut in 21 districts due to the heavy rainfall warning — Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram, Ranipet, Dindigul, Pudukottai, Theni, Vellore, Ariyallur, Nagapattinam, Villupura, Thiruvarur, Mayiladudhurai, Kallakurichi, Cuddalore, Villipuram, Thanjavur, and Dharmapuri.

A war room has been set up at the Greater Chennai Corporation’s (GCC) headquarters to monitor the situation. Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said earlier on Thursday, November 18, that they have identified pockets that are vulnerable.

“Low lying areas we have identified, and are taking steps to minimise damage...We are clearing construction and other debris from storm water drains,” he said. Asked if they’ll take action on contractors, “Right now, our concern is to avoid flooding. We will address that later.”

He said that the GCC is focused on the issues in north Chennai, as it has more population density. In a statement, the GCC said it has already placed motor pumps in the low-lying areas of the state capital to prevent water stagnation and that it was removing plastic and other garbage to prevent the blockage of drains, adding that around 5,700 metric tonnes of garbage is removed on a daily basis from various parts of Chennai. The corporation has also coordinated with the state fisheries department for the use of fishing boats if water logging takes place. According to the GCC, 50 boats are put on standby for any possibilities.

Due to the heavy rains last week, the areas of Ashok Nagar, Ashok Pillar, and Adyar in Chennai are still inundated. In the 24 hours ending the morning of November 18, IMD data showed that Kundhalam and Dharampuram in Tirupur recorded the highest amount of rainfall. The IMD also said that the rains in Chennai and adjoining districts will continue till November 21.

Two shutters of Mullaperiyar dam and one of Cheruthoni dam in Idukki were opened on Thursday morning in view of heavy rainfall in the district. The water level in the Mullaperiyar reservoir had reached 141 feet in the morning. Subsequently, two shutters of Mullaperiyar were opened by 40 centimetres by Tamil Nadu at 8 am.

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