People living in low-lying areas have been asked to take precautions as water from three reservoirs in Chennai, which are nearing capacity, is to be released.

A cyclist and a two-wheeler rider riding in heavy rainPTI
news Weather Sunday, November 07, 2021 - 10:09

Several low-lying areas in Chennai were waterlogged as the Tamil Nadu capital witnessed a heavy downpour from the night of Saturday, November 6, till morning on November 7, Sunday. According to weather bloggers, this is the highest amount of rainfall that Chennai has experienced since 2015, and more rains are expected till November 8, Monday. The north and central parts of the city, in particular, saw heavy rains, with Nungabakkam logging 207 mm rainfall as of Sunday morning and this level is expected to rise. Many Chennai residents took to social media to share visuals of waterlogged roads, and many homes in low-lying areas saw water gushing inside. Visuals also showed motorcycles partly submerged in water after rains inundated many parts of the city. 

Residents in Chennai were also caught by surprise as no official word had come from the Indian Meteorological Department that the city may experience such heavy rainfall. The suburbs and adjoining districts of Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu also received heavy rains on Saturday.

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.

Also read: Chennai rains: Flood alert issued, water to be released from 3 reservoirs

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.

Reservoirs to be opened, warning issued

Due to heavy rainfall, water will be released from three reservoirs in Chennai — Poondi, Puzhal and Chembarambakkam. Poondi reservoir, an important drinking water source for Chennai, has almost reached full capacity and people living downstream of the Kosasthalaiyar river in areas such as Nambakkam, Krishnapuram, Othapai, Neyvelli, Orayur, Beemanthoppu, Korakkanthandalam, Sadayankuppam and others have been advised to remain alert. Those in low-lying areas have been asked to take precautionary measures. The reservoir measures 35 ft. and water levels reached 34.2 ft as of 8 am on Sunday.

Puzhal reservoir will be opened at 11 am on Sunday, the Thiruvallur district collector announced. The reservoir has a height of 21.2 ft. and water levels have already reached 19.30 ft. Those living on the banks of the river’s surplus canal in areas such as Naravarikuppam, Thandalkazhani, Puzhal, Vaduperumpakkam, Sadayamkuppam and others have been advised to remain alert. Those living in low-lying areas have been asked to evacuate. 

On Saturday, Chief Minister MK Stalin held a meeting for monsoon preparedness and had instructed officials to keep an eye on water bodies and that many dams are over 50 per cent of the capacity. The water level in 58 of the 90 dams in the state was over 50 per cent of their capacity, while many other lakes and other water bodies were also brimming. The government is monitoring low-lying areas and river banks. Orders have been given for ensuring speedy implementation of relief activities and basic amenities in relief camps, a statement from the government said.

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