School, colleges closed as rain batters Chennai
Amid continuing monsoon rains, residents of Chennai and suburbs are grappling with inundation, with many roads and subways being closed for traffic, while surplus water continued to be released from reservoirs.
Traffic diversions were enforced at many places and barricades put up to caution road users. While there were disruptions in the state-run local bus services, suburban railway services were unhindered. Vehicles, mostly two-wheelers, were found stranded on several roads covered under sheets of water.
According to an NDTV report schools and colleges in seven districts of Tamil Nadu, including state capital Chennai, will be closed tomorrow in anticipation of heavy rains. The India Meteorological Department has indicated “very heavy” rainfall in Tirunelveli and Kanniyakumari districts tomorrow and ‘heavy’ rainfall in Ramanathapuram and Thoothukudi, added the report.
According to news agency PTI reservoirs, including Poondi and Chembarambakkam here that cater to the drinking water needs of Chennai, released over 10,500 cusecs of surplus water in view of continuous showers in catchment areas, authorities said.
The release of surplus from Poondi dam in Tiruvallur district was stepped up (from an initial 4,253 cusecs to about 8,000 cusecs) in a phased manner upto about 12,000 cusecs by evening.
Towards rescue, relief and mitigation initiatives as many as 54 inflatable boats were deployed, besides excavators and heavy duty pumps in Chennai Corporation areas, an official release said, adding that police shifted people from the flooded Perumbakkam-Ezhil Nagar suburb to a relief centre.
Of the 464 areas here that have witnessed water stagnation, flood water was bailed out from 86 localities and work was on in full swing in other areas, authorities said, adding that fallen trees were also removed and efforts were on to restore traffic in affected places.
Rain water entered several houses in low lying suburban areas off Urapakkam and Guduvancherry and electricity connection was switched off in such places.
Using inflatable boats, people were rescued from flooded suburban localities of Pallikaranai and Varadharajapuram by police and National Disaster Response Force personnel respectively.
Roads and bylanes in the city and suburban neighbourhoods, including Rajamannar Salai in KK Nagar, brimmed with flood water, while subways, including the Madley and Rangarajapuram and an underpasss at Tambaram were closed for traffic.
Water logging upto one feet was seen in most locations and road margins, including the arterial GST Road, while water stagnation was about two feet in some parts of areas like Madipakkam and over two feet in locations that fall under suburbs like Peerkankaranai.
The flood waters have brought insects and tadpoles into homes and vacant plots serve as breeding grounds, some residents said.
On Sunday, Chennai city and suburbs that fall under Chengelpet, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts witnessed heavy rains.
Chennai Police said 2,181 people living in low lying and flooded areas were evacuated and housed in 31 temporary relief centres.
An advisory issued by city police said traffic from Medavakkam to Sholinganallur has been restricted and diverted via the Kamakshi Memorial Hospital route.
At Valasaravakkam, traffic was closed at the Thiruvallur Salai point and diverted towards Keshavardhani to reach Arcot Road.
Traffic was closed from Vani Mahal to Benz Park Hotel points and diverted towards Habibullah Road and Raghavaiah road.
To facilitate work to drain water at Anna Main Road in front of the K K Nagar Hospital, traffic towards Udhayam Theatre junction has been allowed in the opposite direction.
Similarly, at Udhayam junction, heavy vehicles proceeding from the Kasi point and towards Anna Main Road has been diverted towards Ashok Pillar.
From October 1 to November 28, Chennai received 109.76 CM rainfall while 61.16 CM is the normal, that showed an excess of 79 per cent, according to Regional Meteorological Centre's report.
For assistance, people may call the 24 x 7 toll free number 1070 (state-level control room in Chennai) or 1077, the number for control centres in districts. Also, residents in Greater Chennai Corporation areas may call 1913 to register complaints.