CHENNAI: Schools in Chennai and three other districts have been ordered to stay shut for the next two days as heavy rain lashes several parts of north coastal Tamil Nadu on Sunday, with visuals of waterlogging bringing back grim memories of the 2015 floods in the capital city, reports NDTV.
Schools and colleges in Chennai, Thiruvallur, Chengalpattu, Kanchipuram districts have been ordered to stay shut after the weather department issued a rain alert.
Chennai city and its suburbs will receive the highest rainfall due to the influence over a cyclonic circulation in Bay of Bengal, the weather department has said.
Meanwhile, the IMD has also issued a red alert for Chennai and the two neighbouring districts of Chengalpattu and Kanchipuram along with Cuddalore on Sunday. Also, the coastal districts of Chennai, Villupuram, Nagapattinam and Cuddalore have also been issued an Orange alert for Monday. All other districts in the state have been issued a yellow alert. A red alert usually denotes heavy rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms and lightning.
Earlier on Saturday, the IMD had forecast “Thunderstorm with moderate rain is likely to occur at many places over Tamilnadu, Puducherry and Karaikal area. Thunderstorm with heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Ranipettai, Vellore, Tirupattur, Krishnagiri, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Nilgiris, Salem, Erode, Namakkal, Kallakurichi, Tiruvannamalai and Tiruchirappalli districts of Tamilnadu and Puducherry.”
The state disaster management agency (TN SDMA) said that the flood gates at the Chembarambakkam water reservoir, one of the key drinking water sources of Chennai, would be opened at 1.30pm due to the rains and 500 cusecs of water per second would be released from it. Puzhal reservoir, another key water source to the city, was also opened at 11am on the day.
Previously water from the Poondi reservoir was also released. “3000 cusecs of water to be started to be released from Poondi Reservoir today morning 9 am onwards. People residing on the low lying areas on the banks of river Kosasthalaiyar downstream are advised to be on alert,” Alby John, district collector, Tiruvallur, said in a tweet.
Chief minister MK Stalin and several other ministers visited the flood affected areas and have been interacting with the people to hear their grievances. Stalin held a review meeting on Saturday in view of the northeast monsoon and the precautionary measures taken. Earlier on Sunday, he directed his party ministers and MLAs and other representatives to provide relief measures to people affected including food and shelter.
An independent weather blogger Pradeep John, known popularly as Tamil Nadu Weatherman, said that Chennai witnessed its heaviest downpour since the devastating floods in 2015. “Heaviest rains in Chennai since 2015, particularly in north and central Chennai areas and more clouds are moving in,” he said in a Facebook post.
As of 11am on the day, 23cm of rainfall was recorded at the IMD station in DGP office, Chennai, the highest in the state.