Chennai receives heaviest rainfall of season; 2 reservoirs to be opened, flood alert issued
Heavy rains lashed Tamil Nadu’s capital city Chennai and its suburban areas overnight and it continues, with waterlogging all around. Local authorities on Sunday sounded a preliminary flood alert to people as two city reservoirs are set to be opened. With 215 mm, Chennai has recorded one of the heaviest rain of the season.
Chembarambakkam and Puzhal reservoirs, that serve as important sources of drinking water to the Chennai city would be opened to let out surplus rain water, authorities here announced.
Sounding a preliminary flood alert, the state water resources authorities advised district collectors of Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur to evacuate people living in low-lying areas and house them in safe locations.
From Saturday morning, Chennai and several suburbs in Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts witnessed intermittent rains and showers became non-stop since night that led to inundation in many areas, inconveniencing people.
Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy rain in several districts of Tamil Nadu on Sunday and for the next few days. Heavy rain are expected to lash Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Ranipet, Vellore, Tirupattur, Krishnagiri, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Nilgiris, Salem, Erode, Namakkal, Kallakuruchi, Tiruvanamalai, and Tiruchy.
The IMD has predicted that a low-pressure area is likely to move towards north Tamil Nadu in the next two days and rains will continue to increase in the state’s north coastal region on November 11 and 12.
However, weather predicting radars at Karaikal and Chennai have gone offline following some technical snags, giving a blow to the weather prediction.
Sources in the IMD told IANS that until the Karaikal radar is cleared of its technical snag, the stretch of area from Puducherry to Thoothukudi is in a ‘blind spot’ and this has to be rectified immediately.
S Balachandran, Deputy Director-General of Meteorology, told media persons that a team has already arrived to repair the Karaikal radar and the snag would be rectified soon.
However, the senior scientist said that this would not affect weather forecasting as there are satellite images, balloon data, and other tools to provide exact and accurate forecasts.
The IMD is depending presently on the radar at the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT). However, there is scepticism among the scientific community and weather forecasters that this is an X-band radar, with a maximum range of only 150 km to 200 km.
Chief Minister MK Stalin is likely to visit the inundated areas of Chennai on Sunday and has directed officials to monitor the storage levels of dams closely.