Heavy rains in Chennai, reservoirs opened, alerted for flood


Heavy rains lashed Chennai and its suburban areas overnight. This led to waterlogging. The authorities on Sunday, the 7th of November, sounded a preliminary flood alert to people as three city reservoirs were opened. This was done so as to release surplus water in a phased manner.

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin inspected several flooded areas in the city along with top officials. It included Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu. They directed the authorities to take swift action to drain floodwater. Stalin, along with Cabinet colleagues, distributed flood assistance. They gave away rice, milk, and blankets to people in affected areas. They also housed them in a temporary shelter. Stalin also directed party office-bearers, MPs, and MLAs to work in tandem with authorities to address the grievances of people in affected areas.

Health Minister M Subramanian said Chennai experienced 20 cm of rain in about 12 hours. The 12 hours were calculated since Saturday night. According to IMD data, the rainfall ranged between 10 cm and 23 cm in Chennai and its suburbs. The Kamarajar Salai point (DGP Office on the Marina beachfront) near the Tamil Nadu Secretariat recorded the highest of 23 cm. Along with it, the suburban Ennore in north Chennai received 10 cm. The IMD has given a “red” category warning. It indicated heavy rains in Tamil Nadu and neighboring Puducherry on Sunday.

In view of an increase in showers in catchment areas, surplus water has been released from Poondi reservoir. It has been raised in a phased manner up to 3,376 cusecs of water,” the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority said in a tweet. Similarly, Chembarambakkam and Puzhal reservoirs, two other important sources of drinking water to the Chennai city were opened to let out surplus rainwater. The water resources authorities of Chennai said this, adding that the initial release from both the facilities was about 500 cusecs.

Four teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed to assist in rescue operations in case of emergency. One team each is stationed in Chengalpet and Tiruvallur. Two teams at Madurai are stationed for rescue operations. The TNSDMA confirmed this.

Most parts of the city and suburbs witnessed waterlogging. Even parts of several neighbourhoods in Saidapet, Velachery, Adambakkam, Madipakkam, and West Mambalam experienced inundation up to about two to three feet. Several subways were filled with rainwater up to several feet. Rainwater also entered several houses in such areas. This prompted residents to move out to safer locations. The electricity supply was disconnected to such areas as a precautionary measure.

Inspecting inundated localities here, Subramanian said, “The present scenario is not like what was witnessed in 2015 in Chennai. CM Stalin has directed officials to monitor the water levels in reservoirs and take necessary steps according to the situation. Civic personnel is on the job to tackle the situation.”

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