Heavy rains lashed Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu for the fifth consecutive day on Friday, throwing life out of gear and disrupting train and flight schedules even as 55 people lost their lives in rain-related incidents.
The meteorological department warned of more rains in Chennai till the weekend. A new trough of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal could also lead to rain in some coastal areas, it said.
Seven more people lost their lives in rain-related incidents overnight, taking the death toll to 55. The government had on Thursday put the toll in such incidents at 48, including 27 in Cuddalore district alone.
Footage beamed on television showed cars stuck in several feet of water in the streets of Chennai. The city received 14.9 cm of rain overnight. Parts of south Chennai, including St Thomas Mount and Velacherry, witnessed widespread water-logging.
Railway tracks were submerged at several places, resulting in delays in train services. Thousands of people were stranded at the Chennai central station. More than two dozen flights from Chennai were delayed.
Schools and colleges in Chennai and Kancheepuram, Vellore and Thiruvallur districts were shut on Friday following the forecasts of more rains. Examinations of the Madras University scheduled for Friday were cancelled.
Several areas were hit by power outages and officials said they were experiencing difficulties in carrying out repairs because of the incessant downpour.
Office-goers in Chennai had a harrowing time as they waded through knee-deep waters in some places. The movement of vehicles on arterial roads such as Anna Salai, Poonamallee High Road and GST Road in Chennai was affected by the water-logging.
Rubber road barricades were seen floating and buses stopped on the streets due to rising water levels.
Several lakes in Thiruvallur and Kancheepuram, such as the sprawling Madurantakam Eri, received a huge volume of inflows.
Water levels of reservoirs that provide drinking water to Chennai – Red Hills, Cholavaram, Chembarambakkam and Poondi – registered an increase. Officials said they now had enough water for three months.
Chief minister J Jayalalithaa condoled the rain-related deaths and announced Rs 4 lakh would be paid to the families of the dead from the Disaster Relief Fund.
Several parts of Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, Cuddalore and Kancheepuram, have witnessed heavy rains over the past few days.
Thought a deep depression had crossed the Chennai coast on November 9, the met office said a new trough of low pressure that had formed over the South Andaman Sea would bring heavy rains in the next few days.