Chennai looks to the skies with fear

The devastating, record-smashing rainfall may have passed, but the threat of more rain hovers over the city and its suburbs.

Chennai received 29.4 cm of rainfall in 24 hours till 8.30 a.m. on Wednesday. The last time Chennai received such torrential downpour was on December 10, 1901, when 26.6 cm was recorded.

Chennai received 50 per cent more than its monthly rainfall of 19 cm in a single day, leaving several people without power and submerging many areas such as Koyambedu, Kotturpuram, Nolambur and Porur that were spared from flooding during previous heavy spells. While Tambaram received the highest volume of 49 cm, Chembarambakkam recorded 47 cm and Meenambakkam 34.5 cm in 24 hours. The huge volume of rainfall and inflow from catchment areas in both Chembarambakkam reservoir and Poondi reservoir has led to the floodgates being opened further. While nearly 34,600 cubic feet per second of water is being released from Poondi into the Kosasthalaiyar river, Adyar river receives over 25,000 cusecs of water from Chembarambakkam reservoir alone.

Chennai may have to brace for more rain over next three days. However, the only solace is that the rain may not be as intense as Tuesday. S. R. Ramanan, director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, said that the trough of low pressure over the southwest bay of Bengal off Sri Lanka and North Tamil Nadu coast still persists in the same region. “We expect the rain spell to continue for five more days. This will bring widespread rain or thundershowers over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Thursday and coastal areas will get heavy to very heavy rain, ,” he said.

While rain will be intermittent over Chennai, a few spells of rain or thundershowers may occur, some of which may be heavy. Noting that Chennai has experienced a similar deluge in 1976, he said: “We got 45 cm of rain in a single day during November 1976.”

Tuesday’s rain was the highest for a day in December since 1901

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 9:23:13 PM |

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