In an unusual development for the month of June, the sluice gates of the Chembarambakkam reservoir in Chennai were opened on Tuesday, June 21, as heavy rainfall over the past two days led to the reservoir reaching capacity level. According to reports, the reservoir reached 23.48 feet on Tuesday evening just inches away from the full reservoir capacity of 24 feet.
The water in the reservoir had also reached 3500 mn cubic feet and was nearing the full storage limit of 3.645 mn cubic feet. Therefore, officials have decided to release 250 cubic feet of water and have asked people in low-lying areas to move to safer places. A flood warning has also been issued for people living in the downstream areas of the reservoir.
With the southwest monsoon settling over Tamil Nadu, Chennai has been witnessing heavy rains over the past couple of days. On Sunday and Monday, parts of Chennai received around 8 to 9 cm of rain, making it the heaviest rainfall the city has seen in the past ten years in the month of June.
As of 8.30 am on June 21, Tuesday, Chennai Nungambakkam received 48.9 mm rainfall, and Meenambakkam saw 30.9 mm of rainfall.
The India Meteorological Department has predicted light to moderate rain at many places in Tamil Nadu, with isolated thunderstorms and lightning. The IMD said that heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Dindigul, Theni, Erode, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Salem, Namakkal, Karur, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore, Tirupattur, Ranipet and Tiruvallur districts.
In Chennai, over the next two days, the IMD has said that the sky condition is likely to be partly cloudy. “Thunderstorm with light to moderate rain is likely to occur in some areas. Maximum and minimum temperature is likely to be around 35˚C and 26-27˚C respectively,” the IMD said in its bulletin on Monday.