India – Severe Floods and Landslides After Heavy Rain in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh

A depression over the southwest Bay of Bengal brought heavy rainfall to parts of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh in southeastern India from 16 November 2021. At least 9 people have died in rain-related incidents in Tamil Nadu. Hundreds of people have been evacuated or rescued by police, military and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry.

Flood rescue Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh India November 2021. Photo: Kadapa Police

Andhra Pradesh

Teams from police, NDRF and military have responded to the worsening flood situation across several districts of Andhra Pradesh. Rescues and evacuations were carried out in Tirupati, Chittoor, Kadapa, Anantapur and Nellore districts.

The Cheyyeru dam in Kadapa district was reportedly breached or damaged, flooding nearby villages. Videos shared on Social Media showed bridges and buildings washed by the overflowing Swarnamukhi river in Tirupati. Workers were reportedly stranded by flood water from the Papaghni River near Vempalli, Kadapa district. Dozens of people were rescued after 3 buses were submerged by floods in Kadapa district.

India’s Ministry of Home Affairs reported as of late 18 November at least 10 relief camps set up in the state were housing 339 displaced people.

India’s Central Water Commission issued flood alerts for Kadapa, Chittoor, Ananthapuram and Prakasam, Nellore districts. CWC said levels of several rivers are expected to rise including the Krishna and Swarnamukhi, and some dam releases likely.

Some of the heaviest rain was seen in Chittoor District, where several areas saw more than 40 mm fall in 1 hour. Chandragiri recorded 72.2 mm in 1 hour during the afternoon 18 November 2021.

As of 19 November no fatalities had been reported in Andhra Pradesh, which is remarkable given the severity of the situation.

Tamil Nadu and Puducherry

According to media reports, 9 people died after heavy rain caused a building to collapse in Pernambut town, Vellore district of Tamil Nadu late on 18 November 2021. Nine other people were injured in the incident.

The state suffered severe flooding earlier this month when over 11,000 people were displaced and at least 14 died. According to CWC, many reservoirs are still high and further dam releases may be required after further heavy rain brought by the recent depression.

Flood warnings are likely to remain in place for the coming days in several districts, with levels of the Palar, Cooum, Adyar, Kosasthalaiyar, Vellar, Varaha, Ponnaiyar and Cauvery rivers expected to rise.

Meanwhile in neighbouring Puducherry, 196.4 mm of rain fell in 24 hours to 18 November. NDRF teams carried out evacuations in Annar Nagar. The Varahanadhi river at Kumarapalayam was above Extreme Flood levels, according to CWC.

Depression over north coast of Tamil Nadu, November 2021- IMD

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