India – Floods Hit Tamil Nadu, More Severe Weather Forecast

Heavy rain has caused flooding and damage in Chennai and areas of the state of Tamil Nadu in India over the last few days. Government officials report that 4 people have died in rain-related incidents in the state. Further severe weather is forecast for the region.

Observers described the rainfall as some of the heaviest since the the 2015 floods when more than 250 people lost their lives. In 24 hours to 07 November 2021, the neighbourhood of Nungambakkam in Chennai recorded 215 mm of rain. During the next 24 hour period, Perambur in Chennai saw 140mm, while areas of Chengalpattu and Tiruvallur districts recorded over 130 mm.

Rivers are swollen and authorities have opened the flood gates of some dams and reservoirs. According to India’s Central Water Commission (CWC), the Cauvery, Thambraparni, Ponnaiyar, Kodaiyar, Paralayar and Ayyar rivers are all above normal levels. CWC also reported several reservoirs or barrages were receiving higher inflow than the threshold limit including the Bhavanisagar Reservoir, Grand Anicut, Mettur Reservoir, Upper Anicut and the Vaigai Reservoir.

In Chennai, roads and railways lines were flooded in the city, disrupting traffic and train services. Some flight operations were also affected. Chief Minister MK Stalin waded through flood water as he visited some of the affected areas.

News agency PTI, quoting Tamil Nadu’s revenue and disaster management minister KKSSR Ramachandran, said that 4 people have died in rain-related incidents in the state. One person has been injured and hundreds displaced from their homes. Dozens of relief camps have been set up to house those who need emergency accommodation. Four teams from India’s National Disaster Response Force have been deployed to affected areas of Thiruvallur, Chengalpattu and Madurai.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned the recent formation of an area of low pressure is likely to bring a fresh spell of heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy rainfall likely over Tamil Nadu and south Coastal Andhra Pradesh from 09 to 11 November.

Featured photo: File photo for illustration only. Monsoon rainfall in Chennai by McKay Savage / Flickr