India – Torrential Rain Causes Deadly Flooding in Tamil Nadu

The Northeast Monsoon brought heavy rain to parts of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, including the state capital Chennai, from 30 October, 2017.

Some street flooding was reported in Chennai on Monday, 30 October bringing much of the city to a standstill. According to India’s SkyMet Minambakkam Observatory in Chennai recorded whopping 169 mm of rain and Nungambakkam 116 mm in a 24 hour period to 31 October.

Local media reported that many Chennai residents feared a repeat of the November 2015 flood disaster which caused $3 billion of damage the deaths of over 340 people.

The rain continued to fall in Chennai on Tuesday and Wednesday, with 41 mm of rain recorded in 24 hours at Minambakkam Observatory on 01 November.

On Thursday intensity of the rain increased once again and the Tamil Nadu state disaster management authority closed schools and colleges in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram and advised residents of Chennai to stay indoors.

According to WMO figures, Minambakkam observatory in Chennai recorded 141 mm in a 24 hour period to 03 November. SkyMet say that 183 mm of rain was recorded at Nungambakkam observatory in Chennai during the same period. Chennai typically sees 353 mm of rain during the whole of an average November according to WMO figures.

As of early 03 November, some precautionary evacuations had already been carried out. Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Agency said that 3,737 people were sheltered in 115 relief centres across the state.

As well as Chennai, severe flooding was also reported in the district of Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, where roads have been blocked and a bridge washed away.

According to media at least 4 people have died in the floods across Tamil Nadu. One woman drowned in flood water in the Otteri district of Chennai. Three other fatalities occurred in Cuddalore, where one woman died when a wall collapsed and two others were electrocuted in flood water in separate incidents.

Rainfall Warnings

On 03 November, India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an orange (mid level) warning for parts of the state, saying that “heavy to very heavy rain in isolated places is very likely over coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry; heavy rain in isolated places over interior Tamil Nadu, Rayalaseema (Anantapur, Chittoor, Kadapa and Kurnool districts in Andhra Pradesh) and south coastal Andhra Pradesh are also very likely.

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Featured photo: file photo of floods in Chennai for illustration only. Credit: Prince Roy, under Creative Commons.