India – Over 11,000 Displaced by Tamil Nadu Floods

Thousands of people have been displaced by ongoing floods in the state of Tamil Nadu, southern India. According to official reports, at least 14 people have now died in weather-related incidents over the last few days.

Evacuation after floods in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Photo: NDRF

Flooding first struck in the state after heavy rain from 07 November, 2021. India’s Ministry of Home Affairs reports that from 07 to 11 November, 14 people have now lost their lives in weather-related incidents.

Thirty-one of the state’s 38 districts have been affected, including the capital and largest city Chennai where dozens of streets were flooded. As of 12 November, teams from India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were evacuating residents of flood hit areas of the city, including Tambaram and Mudichur.

According to India Meteorological Department, Chennai recorded 810 mm of rain from 01 October to 12 November, where it would normally see 438.5 mm. Tambaram, a suburb south of Chennai, saw 230 mm of rain in 24 hours to 11 November.

Flooding has damaged homes, infrastructure, crops and livestock across the state of Tamil Nadu and forced thousands to evacuate. Seventy-five homes have been destroyed and 1,300 homes or huts damaged. As of 11 November, 11,112 people had moved from their homes to 199 relief camps. Officials have distributed food and relief supplies to affected communities.

Wide areas of crops have also been damaged and hundreds of livestock killed. Nearly 5,000 metres of power lines were also damaged.

The 14 fatalities reported occurred in Chennai, Madurai, Theni, Tiruchirappalli, Krishnagiri, Tiruvannamalai, Thanjavur and Tiruvarur and were a result of either drowning in flood water, building collapse, wind damage and lightning strike, the Ministry of Home Affair said.

India’s Central Water Commission (CWC) said further dam releases may be required as “reservoirs such as Mettur, Bhavanisagar, Amaravathi, Vaigai, Papanasam, Pechiparai, Perumchani, Krishnagiri, Upper Sholayar, Thirumurthy etc are 80 to 100 percent filled up”.

Flood warnings are in place in the districts of Thiruvallur, Chennai, Kancheepuram, Ranippettai, Chengalpattu, Villupuram, Puducherry,
Karaikkal, Cuddalore, Vellore, Thiruvannamalai and Tiruppattar and may remain so for the next 2 to 3 days.

CWC said levels of several rivers including the Palar, Cooum, Adyar, Kosasthalaiyar, Vellar, Varaha, Ponnaiyar and its tributaries are expected to rise.