Chennai on red alert, braces for heavy rains
Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday issued a red alert for coastal Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, after heavy rains lashed Chennai since the night of November 26. The IMD predicted that situation will remain same for the next two days.
In the next 24 hours, thunderstorms with heavy rain are likely to occur in Chennai and adjoining districts and heavy to very heavy rain is likely in the next 48 hours, said S Balachandran, head, Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC), at a press conference in Chennai, and added a red alert was issued for two days for all the coastal regions.
IMD said heavy rainfall is due to a persisting cyclonic circulation over Comorin and adjoining Sri Lanka, extending up to 1.5km above sea level, and another low pressure is likely to form in the Bay of Bengal on November 29. On November 25, Chennai on an average received 55 mm rainfall and on November 26, up to 4.30pm, the city received 32.5 mm of rainfall, IMD data showed.
The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) is operating more than 750 heavy duty pumps across the city to drain rain water.
“Since Chennai is facing frequent rains, we have not dismantled our existing pumping network infrastructure,” commissioner of GCC, Gagandeep Singh Bedi said, and added we are expecting a significant amount of rainfall of 100mm. Bedi said GCC have directed all the pump operators to remain on duty near the motors to remove instant inundation, adding that all the four-wheeler subways are operational except for the two-wheeler subway in Rangarajapuram which is being used for letting out water from West Mambalam.
Chief minister M K Stalin inspected flood-affected areas in Chennai, including Pulianthope, along with Bedi.
Two heavy spells in the earlier weeks of November had already caused havoc for residents in the city. During the Northeast Monsoon spell from October 1 till November 25, Chennai and adjoining districts of Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Chengalpattu received excess to large excess of rainfall—more than 56% and 67% respectively, as per IMD.
GCC identified localities that were heavily flooded and made temporary measures in the last 10 days to divert stagnant water to the nearest canals, said Bedi. However, people continued to suffer with water stagnation.
“We just cleaned our entire apartment and it’s flooded again,” said S Balu, a West Mambalam resident in Chennai, and added that this is not just rain water, it’s [flooded water is] also mixed with sewage and we are worried of getting waterborne infections.