Heavy rains flood Chennai, IMD sounds red alert

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert as heavy downpour caused by the north east monsoon started on Saturday night and continued through Sunday, flooding several areas of Chennai and its neighbouring regions, Hindustan Times reported. According to IMD, 21 cm rainfall was recorded in Chennai between 8.30 am on November 6 and November 7.

According to independent weather bloggers, this is the highest amount of rainfall in Chennai since December 2015, when several people died due to severe flooding.

Vehicles were submerged on arterial roads in the city, people waded through knee deep water, and water entered the homes of many.

Government officials advised people living in low lying areas to be on alert. Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin, accompanied by Greater Chennai Corporation commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi, chief secretary Irai Abdu and other ministers inspected flood-affected areas in Chennai. The chief minister’s office tweeted that he has ordered officials to immediately drain out the rain water.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) deployed a team each to the districts of Tiruvallur, Chengalpattu and two teams to Madurai for relief and rescue efforts.

Excess water is being released from three reservoirs outside of Chennai. Tiruvallur district administration said that 3000 cusecs of water was released from Poondi reservoir starting from 9am. The state also released a statement that 500 cusecs of water will be released from the Chembarambakkam reservoir near Chennai at 1.30 pm. Excessive release of water from Chembarambakkam reservoir had caused severe flooding back in 2015.

Flight services continue at the Chennai airport, however, local trains were partially suspended. There was a lull and a break from rains from mid-morning and past noon.

Independent weather blogger Pradeep John who tracks the monsoon in Tamil Nadu tweeted: “Heaviest rains in Chennai since 2015, particularly in north and central Chennai areas.”

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