172 dead this month, IMD warns of more rain in south till December 2

Since November 1, 172 people have died in the five southern peninsular states with Tamil Nadu accounting for the maximum, followed by Kerala at 48, Andhra Pradesh at 44, and Karnataka at 12.
Residents wade through a flood-affected area in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. (PTI)
Residents wade through a flood-affected area in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. (PTI)
Updated on Nov 27, 2021 04:52 AM IST
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ByHT Correspondents, Chennai/hyderabad/ Thiruvananthapuram

Torrential showers marooned towns, cut off villages, and killed five people in Tamil Nadu on Friday, pushing the death toll in the state to 68, as officials warned of more rainfall likely to lash southern India till December 2.

Since November 1, 172 people have died in the five southern peninsular states with Tamil Nadu accounting for the maximum, followed by Kerala at 48, Andhra Pradesh at 44, and Karnataka at 12. Telangana, which has also been hit by heavy rainfall, has not reported any rain-related deaths in November.

The deluge is due to a cyclone circulation in the Comorin area extending up to 1.5km above sea level, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said, adding that another low pressure area was likely to form in the south Bay of Bengal on November 29. This will be the fourth such weather event in the region since November 1.

IMD’s rainfall data released on Friday said that between November 1 and November 25, south Peninsular India recorded 143.4% excess rains, with Karnataka and Kerala receiving more than 110% of the normal. Tamil Nadu, which normally receives less rainfall this season than states on the western coast, recorded 70% excess rainfall during the north-east monsoon season, which started on October 1.

Friday’s rain disrupted life in southern Tamil Nadu districts such as Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Ramanathapuram, Pudukottai and Nagapattinam. Thoothukudi recorded extremely heavy rainfall of 250mm in the past 24 hours.“Water is up to the hip level on Attur road which has now been blocked,” said S Gunaseelan, a resident of Udangudi in Thoothukudi.

Heavy rainfall was also reported from temple town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. Bengaluru and southern Karnataka received moderate to heavy rainfall.

Tami Nadu

On Friday, IMD issued a red alert to the entire coastal belt of Tamil Nadu comprising 18 districts and an orange alert for districts adjoining the coastal regions. Rainfall lashed 37 of the state’s 38 districts with schools and colleges shut in most places.

The five deaths were reported from Ariyalur, Dindigul, Sivganga and Thiruvanammali, said state minister for revenue and disasters, KKSSR Ramachandran. He added that 10,503 people were evacuated to state-run relief camps.

Across the state, people stocked up on food but sheets of stagnant water threw normal life out of gear. “We just cleaned our entire apartment and it’s flooded again,” said S Balu, a West Mambalam resident in Chennai.

“And this is not just rain water, it’s also mixed with sewage. Our motor sump is submerged so our tanks don’t have a drop of drinking water. We are worried of getting water borne infections,” he said.

Arterial roads were inundated even as Great Chennai Municipal Corporation officials said they were getting ready for heavy rainfall during the weekend. “We have asked all the pump operators to remain on duty near the motors to remove instant inundation,” said commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi.

On Thursday, after Thoothukudi (11.8 cm), the highest rainfall was recorded in the districts of Tirunelveli (8 cm), Nagapattinam (7.6cm).

However, the rainfall reduced on Friday in Thoothukudi to 0.2 mm. Chennai received about 3 cm rainfall.

“The rains have reduced today in Thoothukudi during the day but we have still issued a red alert because it’s already flooded and more rains are expected overnight and tomorrow,” deputy director of RMC, V Puviarasan, said.

Thoothukudi remained marooned for the second day in a row and roughly 1,000 homes were damaged. Due to heavy rain in Thamirabarani catchment area, water release from the Servalaru-Papanasam dam was increased to 20,000 cusecs, said Thoothukudi district collector K Senthil Raj.

Andhra Pradesh

The south coastal and Rayalaseema districts of Andhra Pradesh limped back to normal on Friday following days of torrential rainfall. But moderate showers was reported from several areas and the IMD predicted more rainfall in the region till December 2.

Chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy told the state assembly that his government was taking up all the relief and rescue measures without delay in the flood-affected areas and camps were being set up for people. He also said that 1,990 villages in four districts were affected by the floods on November 18 and 19, of which 211 villages were completely inundated. AT least 44 people had died and 16 were still missing. He said 1,169 houses were completely damaged and 5,434 houses were partially damaged.

Kerala

Several any parts of Kerala, especially southern districts, received scattered to heavy rainfall on Friday. The state received the highest rainfall in six decades this year -- surpassing even the deluge in 2018 that caused the worst floods in a century and killed 482 people.

IMD said the state received 3593.3mm rainfall till November 25, surpassing the 2018 tally of 3518. 9mm.

Karnataka

Bengaluru didn’t record much rainfall in the past 24 hours but the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) said there will be rain in Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Mysuru, and Mandya districts.

“However, we have not predicted any heavy rainfall in the state in the coming days. According to us only, scattered, light rainfall will occur,” said a KSNDMC official.

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