On Sunday, 36 out of Tamil Nadu’s 38 districts witnessed heavy rainfall, with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing a ‘red’ category warning. Of these, the state capital of Chennai recorded the highest rainfall at 134.29 mm in 24 hours, as per an official statement.
As a result, the streets were waterlogged and homes in low-lying areas of Chennai were flooded. The gates of three reservoirs had to be opened to release the excess water.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin regarding the situation in the state and assured him of the Centre’s support in rescue and relief work. So far, four National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been deployed in the state.
Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department has predicted heavy rains in the state for at least the next two days.
EXCESS RAINFALL IN TAMIL NADU
On Sunday, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin said that the state has received 334.64 mm of rainfall between October 1 and November 7, which is 44 per cent more than the normal rainfall received during the Northeast monsoon season.
Districts including Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Tiruvarur, Villupuram, Erode, Karur, Cuddalore, Pudukottai and Perambalur have received more than 60 per cent of excess rainfall.
HEAVY RAINFALL IN CHENNAI ON SUNDAY
From Saturday morning onwards, Chennai and several suburbs in Chengelpet, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts witnessed intermittent rains. On Saturday night, the showers became very heavy and it rained incessantly through the night.
As a result, Chennai witnessed the heaviest rainfall it has seen in six years since the 2015 floods.
The authorities sounded a preliminary flood alert to people as three city reservoirs were opened in a phased manner to release surplus water.
TREES UPROOTED, HOMES FLOODED IN CHENNAI
Rainwater entered several houses in some neighbourhoods in Chennai and its suburbs, bringing back memories of the 2015 floods. People had to be evacuated in inflatable boats from some parts of the city.
Many roads were waterlogged and several trees uprooted, leading to traffic diversions in the city. At least six subways were closed for traffic.
RELIEF AND RESCUE WORK
Four teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Madurai, Chengalpet and Tiruvallur for rescue work. Meanwhile, State Disaster Response Force teams have been sent to Thanjavur and Cuddalore districts.
More than 5,000 relief camps have been set up in Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Tiruvarur, Villupuram, Erode, Karur, Cuddalore, Pudukottai and Perambalur districts. The Greater Chennai Corporation has set up 160 relief camps in the capital city.
A 24-hour toll-free number (1070) has been set up to receive rain-related complaints in Chennai.
CM VISITS AFFECTED AREAS
Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin visited affected areas in Chennai and its suburbs on Sunday and directed officials to expedite rescue and relief work.
He visited Kolathur, Saidapet, Perambur, Purasaiwalkam, Kosappet and Otteri and distributed food and relief materials to affected people accommodated at camps.
MK Stalin also asked officials to ensure there is no waterlogging and to evacuate people living in low-lying areas. Instructions were also given to adhere to Covid-19 norms strictly at relief camps.
PM MODI ASSURES SUPPORT
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin following heavy rainfall in parts of the state. He assured him of all possible support from the Centre in rescue and relief work.
PM Modi tweeted, “Spoke to Tamil Nadu CM and discussed the situation in the wake of heavy rainfall in parts of the state. Assured all possible support from the Centre in rescue and relief work. I pray for everyone’s well-being and safety.”
Spoke to Tamil Nadu CM, Thiru @mkstalin and discussed the situation in the wake of heavy rainfall in parts of the state. Assured all possible support from the Centre in rescue and relief work. I pray for everyone’s well-being and safety.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 7, 2021
MK Stalin responded on Twitter, “Thank you, PM Modi. Discussed Tamil Nadu having exhausted State Disaster Relief Fund for 2020-21 towards Covid relief and requested that funds from National Disaster Relief Fund of Union government be released for this cyclone season.”
HOLIDAYS DECLARED IN SCHOOLS, COLLEGES
As a result of the heavy rainfall, the government has declared holidays for schools and colleges in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpet districts on November 8 and 9.
Additionally, CM MK Stalin appealed to people who had travelled from Chennai to other places for Diwali to postpone their return to the city by three days.
IMD ISSUES ALERT FOR NEXT FEW DAYS
The IMD issued an alert regarding a cyclonic circulation that lies over north Tamil Nadu and predicted widespread rainfall in the state for the next two to three days.
As per the meteorological department, a low-pressure area is likely to form by November 9.