Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has declared a public holiday on Monday, November 8, following heavy rains and inundation in several parts of the state including Chennai. While all government offices, barring those categorised as essential services, will remain shut, private companies have also been urged to either declare a holiday or allow their employees to work from home on Monday. A two-day rain holiday for all educational institutions declared on Sunday in four Tamil Nadu districts â€” Chennai, Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur and Chengalpet, was extended to the districts of Vellore, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Ranipet, Thanjavur, Tirupatur, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Perambalur, Karur among others.
The Chennai Metro Rail also announced that it was extending its timings only for Monday, November 8, in view of the holiday declared by the state government due to heavy rain. The metro will be operated from 5.30 am to 11 pm with a gap of 10 minutes throughout the day, the CMRL said.
Extension of Metro Train Services from 05:30 am to 11:00 pm today (08.11.2021) Monday pic.twitter.com/E1U5QcAceaâ€” Chennai Metro Rail (@cmrlofficial) November 8, 2021
Aided by cyclonic circulation during monsoon, Chennai and nearby regions experienced intense rains in about 24 hours, leading to inundation of most areas in the city on Sunday and opening up of sluice gates of three city reservoirs to let out surplus water. Since the start of the Northeast monsoon in October, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry regions have experienced about 43% excess rainfall. Very heavy rains lashing the city in about 24 hours comes after about six years, while other regions of Tamil Nadu received mild, and or moderate rainfall.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "Spoke to Tamil Nadu CM, Thiru @mkstalin and discussed the situation in the wake of heavy rainfall in parts of the state. Assured all possible support from the Centre in rescue and relief work. I pray for everyone's well-being and safety (sic)." Chief Minister M K Stalin inspected several inundated areas along with top officials including Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu and directed authorities to take swift action to drain flood water.
Stalin, along with cabinet colleagues distributed flood assistance, including rice, milk and blankets to people in affected areas, housed in temporary shelters. He directed officials to expedite rescue and relief work.
Rainwater entered several houses in parts of neighbourhoods in the city and suburbs, including Saidapet, Velachery, Ambattur, Korattur and Vyasarpadi, bringing back memories of the deluge of 2015 in the city. People were evacuated in inflatable boats by disaster response teams from some of the locations.
Most city and peripheral roads came under sheets of water and several trees were uprooted, leading to traffic diversions and disruption in transport services. People waded through ankle deep water to reach nearby shops to buy essential commodities.
With PTI and IANS inputs