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Tamil Nadu rains: Chennai submerged as downpour brings state to standstill, three dead; IMD issues red alert

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert for Chennai and three adjoining districts -- Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur, and Chinglepet following the downpour that came after record-breaking rains crippled the capital in November.

Tamil Nadu rains: Chennai submerged as downpour brings state to standstill, three dead; IMD issues red alert-dnm
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Chennai, First Published Dec 31, 2021, 9:08 AM IST
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Chennai: A red alert has been issued for Chennai and three adjoining districts after heavy rainfall, totally unpredicted, flooded, inundated homes and roads and killed 3 people on Thursday bringing the state to a standstill.

Several areas in Chennai and its suburbs witnessed inundating roads and causing traffic congestion. State minister for revenue and disaster management KKSSR Ramachandran said three people died in rain-related electrocutions in Tamil Nadu on Thursday. The minister requested people not to step out in the night, assuring that the situation will improve by Friday morning. The deceased included a 70-year-old woman, a 40-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy, all from Chennai.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert for Chennai and three adjoining districts -- Kanchipuram, Thiruvallur, and Chinglepet following the downpour that came after record-breaking rains crippled the capital in November.

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The weather stations in Chennai’s MRC Nagar and Nungambakkam recorded 200 mm and 160 mm of rainfall in a span of a few hours up to 8 pm, according to IMD. For December, this is the highest rainfall recorded within 24 hours after 110 mm was recorded on December 13, 2016. The all-time record for December in Chennai, according to IMD’s data, is 290 mm recorded on December 2, 2015.

The Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) in Chennai has predicted light to moderate rain accompanied by thunderstorms in some areas of the city and its neighbourhood for the next 48 hours.

“Sky condition is likely to be partly cloudy. Thunderstorm with light to moderate rain is likely to occur in some areas. The maximum and minimum temperature is likely to be around 31˚C and 24˚C respectively,” the RMC said in its weather bulletin.

There was no prior warning of the heavy rainfall, officials said, adding that it was a cloudburst that triggered over 12 hours of rainfall over Chennai. Several areas, including key landmarks in the city, were completely waterlogged. A portion of the roof collapsed at the popular VR Mall in Chennai's Anna Nagar. Stalin visited the Greater Chennai Corporation' flood control room office to take stock of the situation in four districts.

Videos showed massive traffic snarls after the Chennai traffic police shut down four subways that had been inundated. People were forced to wait in traffic for over two to three hours. Many commuters abandoned their vehicles near their workplaces and then tried to catch the Metro. That Metro service too came under immense pressure from the massive footfall. 

At least 14 localities were declared by Greater Chennai Corporation as being inundated and motor pumps were used to flush out the excess water. The Greater Chennai Corporation has termed the rainfall as unexpected.

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