Life has been severely disrupted in Chennai and its adjoining areas following heavy rainfall in the region caused by a cyclonic circulation over the Bay of Bengal, prompting authorities to issue an alert and evacuate those in the low-lying areas. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecasted that light to moderate rainfall would continue in the Tamil and neighbouring states on Monday, advising fishermen not to venture into the sea.
Squally weather (speed reaching 50-60 kmph) over east-central Arabian sea on November 8; wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph over along and off Maharashtra-Goa-Karnataka coasts on 07; over Central and adjoining west-central Arabian Sea on November 9. Fishermen are advised not to venture into these areas, it tweeted.
According to officials, Chennai has recorded 21 cm of rainfall till Sunday. Officials said the all-time record of highest rain here was 45 cm in 1976. Following that in 1985, Chennai had recorded 25 cm and 33 cm rainfall on two different dates. Subsequently, in 2015, the city experienced 25 cm of rainfall and now the city has recorded close to that level, officials said.
The heavy rainfall has also claimed the lives of four people in different incidents of the state, said Tamil Nadu Revenue and Disaster Management Minister KKSSR Ramachandran while speaking to news agency PTI.
This has forced the state authorities to issue an alert for Chennai, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu. All government offices, except those dealing in essential services, have also been closed in Tamil Nadu. The state government has also requested private organisations to declare holidays due to the rains.
Meanwhile, all schools and colleges have been shut in Chennai and three other districts due to the rains. Schools in Puducherry have also been closed.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDRF), on the other hand, has deployed four teams in Tamil Nadu following the IMD alert. It said that one team each has been deployed in Thiruvallur and Chengalpattu district and two teams in Madurai district.
"Our 24x7 control room in Arakkonam is closely monitoring the situation round the clock and all efforts are being made in close collaboration with Tamil Nadu state administration," news agency ANI quoted an NDRF official as saying.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday held a telephonic conversation with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and promised all help for the people of the state.
"Spoke to Tamil Nadu CM, Thiru@mkstalin and discussed the situation in the wake of heavy rainfall in parts of the state. Assured all possible support from the Centre in rescue and relief work. I pray for everyone's well-being and safety," he tweeted.
Stalin has thanked PM Modi and said, "Thank you Hon'ble PM @narendramodi. Had discussed about TN having exhausted State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) for 2020-21 towards COVID relief and requested to release funds from National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) of Union Government for this cyclone season".