After a month of sunshine and flood-free roads, Chennai witnessed unprecedented rains on Thursday paralysing the city more than any other rainy day of the northeast monsoon.
The sudden downpour that hit the city from 3 p.m. left central parts such as T. Nagar, Mylapore, Nungambakkam, and Teynampet flooded.
In some places, the water entered the ground floor of houses.
Rainwater entered some corridors in the northern part of the Secretariat building at Fort St. George.
Over 100 streets in the were water-logged and four subways closed, said Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran.
Work was on to clear the floodwater on at least 106 streets and if rains stopped water could be cleared in these streets and subways, Mr. Ramachandran told reporters. The entire machinery of the Greater Chennai Corporation was at flood-mitigation work, he said.
The tanks and reservoirs around Chennai were being monitored, he said. Rainfall was particularly high in M.R.C. Nagar, Nandanam, Vadapalani and nearby areas, the Minister said.
With the arterial roads flooded, there was gridlock across the city.
MTC buses were delayed as they were caught in traffic jams, office-goers had to wait for several hours to return home.
Metro trains, MRTS and suburban services hauled people safely.
At a Metro station in Anna Salai, 300 to 400 people were waiting in a queue to board the train at 8 p.m. and trains were running packed. The Metro train services were extended till midnight in view of the rush.
Cab fares surged more than four times the normal fare in the evening. A ride from T. Nagar to Koyambedu showed ₹1,300 on the app and many residents had to cancel their trips owing to the traffic congestion and sky high fares.
Three electrocutions were reported in the city. A 13-year-old boy, Lakshmanan, was electrocuted outside his house in Myalpore.
An elderly woman, Tamilarasi, too was electrocuted at Otteri when she was on the road. Another woman, Meena, was electrocuted at Pulianthope.
Several trees were uprooted in the winds that accompanied the rains at times. At Rajarathinam Stadium, the tents were ripped off by the gutsy winds. Power cuts were witnessed in many northern parts of the city and in some places like Teynampet for a while.
With more rains predicted in Chennai and its three neighbouring districts, it was decided to release more water from the reservoirs feeding the city.
With both Chembarambakkam and Red Hills reservoirs receiving an inflow of 3,000 cusecs, it was decided to increase the discharge to 1,000 cusecs and 1,500 cusecs respectively from the two reservoirs.
Poondi reservoir received an inflow of 3,000 cusecs and as the reservoir was full, about 1,000 cusecs was released, the officials said.