Continuous rains since the early hours of Tuesday led to the breaching of 35 major lakes, mostly in the southern parts of the Chnenai Metropolitan Area, rendering thousands of residents homeless. There was also a complete breakdown of essential services. Those who travelled to work with great difficulty were, on their way back home, stranded mid-way as most of the transport services went into a tailspin.
When the day ended, the city was completely battered, having received wounds that would take a long time to heal.
As 35 major lakes broke their banks in the southern suburbs of Chennai on Tuesday, arterial roads became unmotorable, leaving thousands of commuters stranded and residents marooned.
The lakes that breached include Kalavakkam, Thirukazhukundram, Korapattu, Shonalur, Perungalathur, Thenmelpakkam, Irumpuliyur, Peerkankaranai, Keelkattalai, Pallavaram, Pallikaranai and Mudichur.
“In addition to this, minor breaches have also occurred in most of the other waterbodies. We have taken 23000 residents to 99 relief camps in Kancheepuram district. But lakhs of residents are marooned in the southern suburbs. All roads are inundated, disrupting traffic. We are unable to take food packets to marooned residents,” said an official.Traffic on arterial roads such as GST Road, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, East Coast Road, Outer Ring Road and Poonamalle High Road was thrown out of gear. The traffic police diverted traffic on arterial roads, advising motorists to avoid stretches such as GST Road, East Coast Road and Rajiv Gandhi Salai.
Most of the 471 bus route roads in Chennai Corporation limits remained inundated.
Seven subways including Pazhavanthangal, Thillai Ganga Nagar, St.Thomas Mount, Meenambakkam, Ganesapuram, Duraisamy and Rangarajapuram were closed for traffic.
The number of residents in 25 relief camps in Tiruvallur District was estimated at 1989. The number of residents in 24 relief camps in Chennai District was 4,500. The number increased considerably by evening.
Several residents of South Chennai who had just carried out repairs in their flooded houses, found to their chagrin that their houses are flooded again.
R. Nagarajan, a resident of New Kuberan Nagar in Madipakkam, said he had been living in the area for 40 years now but this time his house was flooded with knee-deep water only during the rains this month.