Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Thursday visited Ripon Buildings to assess the Greater Chennai Corporation’s (GCC) preparedness for the cyclone that is likely to bring rain to the city from December 2 to 4. He also answered calls from residents on the 1913 helpline and directed officials to improve coordination between departments to redress grievances without delay.
Following this, the civic body has decided to increase the number of connections on the 1913 helpline from 10 to 20. According to estimates from each of the 15 zones, more than 1,100 residents have complained to the GCC about civic issues on Thursday during the rain.
North Tamil Nadu, particularly the coastal region, is likely to witness heavy downpour between December 2 and 4. A cyclone, likely to form in Bay of Bengal on Sunday, is expected to move closer to the north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts by the early hours of Monday. This will trigger widespread rain of moderate intensity over the State till December 5. The cyclone is likely to be named Michaung as per the recommendation of Myanmar.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an orange-coded warning, as some districts may receive very heavy rain too. While north coastal areas and some delta districts may have to be prepared for heavy rain till December 4, Chennai and its neighbouring districts may experience intense rain of up to 20 cm on Sunday and Monday. Another cyclonic circulation in the Sri Lanka region will also add to the rainfall.
Torrential rain pounded several areas of the city and its fringes since Wednesday evening, causing many roads to be flooded. Rain of very heavy intensity lashed many parts of the city and many gauges logged high intensity overnight rain of above 10 cm. During the past 24 hours, ending 8.30 a.m. on Thursday, Avadi logged a whopping 19 cm of rain followed by Kolathur, Thiru. Vi. Ka. Nagar, and Ponneri, with 15 cm each, and Ambattur and Anna Nagar Malar Colony (14 cm each).
The Regional Meteorological Centre said nearly 16 localities received very heavy rain and several stations received heavy rain. The showers had eased out by Thursday evening. Places such as Meenambakkam and Nungambakkam in the city and Chidambaram in Cuddalore recorded light rain.
S. Balachandran, Additional Director General of Meteorology, Chennai, said there would be more clarity on the system and its track once it intensified. Many factors contributed to the consolidation of a weather system into a cyclone.
Overnight rain had bridged the large seasonal rain deficit in Chennai, which has received 59 cm now, being only 8% less than its share. Similarly, Tamil Nadu’s rain gap has also decreased to 6%, he said.
Meanwhile, the shutter gates of the Chembarambakkam and Red Hills reservoirs were opened to let out more water on Thursday following heavy inflow. Water discharge from Chembarambakkam was increased to 6,000 cubic feet per second, with its level reaching 22.53 ft of 24 ft. The outflow was later reduced to 4,000 cusecs with a dip in inflow in the evening. About 2,000 cusecs of surplus water is being discharged from Red Hills reservoir.
Officials of the Water Resources Department (WRD) estimate the Adyar will carry a flow of 10,000 cusecs, including the water from Chembarambakkam reservoir and surface runoff from upstream areas. However, it may not lead to immediate flooding.
WRD Additional Chief Secretary Sandeep Saxena, Kancheepuram Collector Kalaiselvi Mohan, and Tiruvallur Collector T. Prabhushankar inspected the reservoirs and rivers following the overnight downpour.