After a hiatus of six years, heavy to very heavy overnight rains pounded Chennai and its suburbs, leading to water-logging everywhere, with the deluge entering houses in low-lying areas on Sunday and the sluice gates of three reservoirs here being opened to release surplus water. Since the start of the Northeast monsoon in October, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry regions have experienced about 43 per cent excess rainfall, a weather official said.
From Saturday morning, Chennai and several suburbs in Chengelpet, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts witnessed intermittent rains and the showers became non-stop since last night. The rainfall continued till Sunday, turning out to be one of the heaviest in recent years.
Deputy Director General of Meteorology, S Balachandran said the all time record of highest rain was 45 CM in 1976. Following that in 1985, Chennai had recorded 25 CM and 33 CM rainfall on two different dates. Subsequently, in 2015, the city experienced 25 CM rainfall and now the city has recorded close to that level, he told PTI.
Such showers over the past were recorded in November during the Northeast monsoon. “We have received 43 per cent more showers,” he added.
The Kamarajar Salai point (DGP Office on the Marina beachfront) near the Tamil Nadu Secretariat recorded the highest of 23 CM and suburban Ennore in north Chennai, 10 cm.
Some suburban locations, including areas covered in nearby Tiruvallur district received between 3 CM (Poondi and RK Pet) and 9 CM (Cholavaram).
The IMD gave a ‘red’ category warning, indicating heavy rains in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry on Sunday.
Surplus water from three reservoirs, (Poondi, Chembarambakkam, and Puzhal that serve the drinking water needs of the city) was meanwhile released in a phased manner.
Rainwater entered several houses in parts of neighbourhoods in the city and suburbs, including Saidapet, Velachery, Ambattur, Korattur and Vyasarpadi, bringing back memories of the deluge of 2015 in the city. People were evacuated in inflatable boats by disaster response teams from some of the locations.
Most city and peripheral roads came under sheets of water and several trees were uprooted, leading to traffic diversions and disruption in transport services. People waded through ankle deep water to reach nearby shops to buy essential commodities.
Relatively low level bridges, known as ‘tharaipaalam’ in Tamil, were submerged in several suburban areas. In view of all round water logging, at least six subways were closed for traffic.
Revenue Minister KKSSR Ramachandran said rain water was pumped out from five city subways and work in respect of eight other similar facilities was on, adding 27 uprooted trees were removed.
Mild to moderate, intermittent rainfall was also reported in several other regions of Tamil Nadu, including Erode and delta areas like Tiruvarur.