Five die in Tamil Nadu, schools shut as IMD warns of another downpour

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert on Friday for the entire coastal belt in Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, and an orange alert for districts adjoining the coastal regions.
Rainfall occurred in 37 out of 38 districts in the state at a state average of 39.34 mm for 24 hours from 6 am on November 25. (Agencies)
Rainfall occurred in 37 out of 38 districts in the state at a state average of 39.34 mm for 24 hours from 6 am on November 25. (Agencies)
Updated on Nov 28, 2021 12:18 AM IST
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By, Chennai

Five people died in a rain-related incident across four districts of Tamil Nadu as the government announced the closure of schools and colleges in the most district, state revenue and disasters minister KKSSR Ramachandran said on Friday.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert on Friday for the entire coastal belt in Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, and an orange alert for districts adjoining the coastal regions.

Rainfall occurred in 37 out of 38 districts in the state at a state average of 39.34 mm for 24 hours from 6 am on November 25.

Ramachandran said 5 people died across in Ariyalur, Dindigul, Sivganga and including two in Thiruvanammali district on Thursday while 10,503 people have been evacuated and moved to state-run relief camps across the state.

Thoothukudi district received 11.8 cm rainfall on Thursday the highest in the state. The Thoothukudi observatory alone recorded extremely heavy rainfall of 25 cm on Thursday, and the rains which lashed southern districts on Thursday, spread to the northern districts up to Chennai overnight. After Thoothukudi, the highest rainfall was recorded in the districts of Tirunelveli (2cm), Nagapattinam (7.6 cm).

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,” said deputy director of RMC, V Puviarasan.

Tamil Nadu has received 70% excess rainfall during this monsoon season from October 1 to November 26, said S Balachandran, head, Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) at a press conference in Chennai.

No lives and cattle were lost in Thoothukudi. However, several families were shifted to relief camps.

Around 981 people from the district have been accommodated in 12 shelters. About 97 huts were damaged. Thoothukudi corporation has appointed eight nodal officers in the cadre of deputy collector and eight tahsildars to coordinate flood mitigation works. At least 275 motor pumps have been used in the district to drain water across 300 locations. Water entered several homes and blocked vital roads. “Water was up to the hip level in the Attur road, which has now been blocked,” S Gunaseelan, a resident of Udangudi in Thoothukudi. “If the rains stop even in an hour or two, the water will recede in Thoothukudi, but these rains have been unprecedented.”

Due to heavy rain in the Thamirabarani catchment area, which is in Tirunelveli district, water release from Servalaru-Papanasam dam was increased to 20,000 cusecs on Friday. This, along with water from Manimuthar and Gadana rivers, was expected to reach Thoothukudi district at Marudhur check dam, said Thoothukudi district collector K Senthil Raj. “In our district, river Tamirabarini flows through Maruthur, Agaram, Srivaikuntam, Aathoor, Mukkani into the sea at Punnakayal. Tamirabarini river will flow with a capacity of more than 25,000 cusecs today,” the collector said on Friday. “We will watch for any rise in the water near habitations identified near the low level of the Thamirabarani river and shift them as a precautionary measure.” DMK MP from Thoothukudi inspected flood-affected areas, including the Tiruchendur Murugan Temples.

The situation is likely to get worse as the IMD has predicted heavy rains for the next two days across Tamil Nadu and another low pressure is likely to form in the Bay of Bengal on November 29. “Because of the rainfall that has already been received and for the heavy rains that we are going to get, we have issued a red alert to all the coastal districts for the next two days,” said RMC head S Balachandran.

Water reservoirs and tanks were brimming. The water level in Mettur, Bhavanisagar, Amaravathi, Periyar, Vaigai, Papanasam, Perunchani, Krishnagiri, Sathanur, Thirumurthy, Sholayar, Parambikulam and Aliyar reservoirs showed an increased level as of November 26 compared to the levels last year, said a statement from the Tamil Nadu government.

Two NDRF teams stationed in Chengalpattu and one in Kancheepuram. For November 27, the RMC predicted scattered heavy to isolated very heavy rain over Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Tenkasi, Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu districts. Scattered heavy rain is likely to occur over Kanyakumari, Ramanathapuram, Tiruchirapalli, Karur, Coimbatore and Nilgiris districts. Thunderstorms with moderate rain are likely to occur at most places over the rest of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Divya Chandrababu is an award-winning political and human rights journalist based in Chennai, India. Divya is presently Assistant Editor of the Hindustan Times where she covers Tamil Nadu & Puducherry. She started her career as a broadcast journalist at NDTV-Hindu where she anchored and wrote prime time news bulletins. Later, she covered politics, development, mental health, child and disability rights for The Times of India. Divya has been a journalism fellow for several programs including the Asia Journalism Fellowship at Singapore and the KAS Media Asia- The Caravan for narrative journalism. Divya has a master's in politics and international studies from the University of Warwick, UK. As an independent journalist Divya has written for Indian and foreign publications on domestic and international affairs.

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