Three die in Tamil Nadu; IMD warns of heavy rainfall on Sunday
Three more people died on Saturday in rain-related incidents in Tamil Nadu, taking the toll to eight since November 25, as monsoon rains continued to batter several regions of the state, with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting heavy to very heavy downpour in several districts till Sunday.
While Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin inspected flood-affected localities in Chennai, minister for disaster and revenue KKSSR Ramachandran said 11,239 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas and accommodated in relief centres across the state. National Disaster Response Force units have been deployed in Chengelpet and Kancheepuram districts.
Addressing a press conference in Chennai on Saturday, Ramachandran said the worst-hit districts included Ariyalur, Tirunelveli and Tirupur.
On Saturday, Chennai recorded 2.5 cm rainfall till 5.30pm, with several localities continue to witness waterlogging and authorities cutting power supply at a few places as a precaution. Three subways and a few roads were closed due to inundation, a civic official said.
“Water has entered my house again. Due to continuous stagnation, my toddler son is sick with a water-borne disease,” said R Mahendra, a resident of Velachery, a low-lying area in Chennai.
IMD has sounded ‘red alert’ implying possibility of excess rainfall for Chennai and all coastal districts since Friday. IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy rain over Thiruvallur district and heavy to very heavy rain over Chennai, Chengalpattu and Kanchipuram districts till November 28.
In the ongoing northeast monsoon, from October 1 till November 27, the state received about 60.33 cm of rainfall as against the usual 34.57 cm for this period, which is 75% in excess, said Ramachandran.
Chennai has recorded 71% excess rainfall during the period while its adjoining districts (Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Chengalpattu) have recorded over 88% excess rainfall, the IMD said in a bulletin.
Among the districts receiving maximum rainfall in the last 24 hours ending at 4.30 pm on Saturday, include Tiruvallur (20cm), Chengalpattu (18cm), Kancheepuram (17cm) and Chennai (10cm).
The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) is operating more than 750 heavy duty pumps across the city to drain rainwater, a civic official said, adding that the civic body has identified localities that are heavily flooded and in the last 10 days, they have made temporary measures to divert the water to the nearest canals.
Southern Thoothukudi district, which received 2.5 cm of rainfall on Thursday, has not received much rainfall in the past two days, but most of the irrigation tanks across the district filling up. “We proactively opened the surplus channel of Vellur tank near Adhichanallur into Thamirabarani river last night (Friday night) so we were able to avoid breach of Kaalvai, Appankulam and Vellur tank which would have otherwise entered habitation,” Thoothukudi collector K Senthil Raj said.