After a day of steady rainfall, sometimes intense, Chennai finally found relief from the deluge after 5.30 p.m. as the weather system that originated in the Bay of Bengal crossed the coastsoutheast of the city.
The weather system maintained a wind speed of 45-55 km per hour gusting up to 65 km per hour while making landfall. Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Chennai, S. Balachandran said the system is expected to weaken into a well-marked low pressure area by Friday morning. Rainfall would continue until Friday morning, he added.
Fourteen people died in rain related incidents across the State during this weather system, official estimates said.
The Meteorological Department has withdrawn the red alert for extremely heavy rains for Chennai and neighbouring districts. However, warning for strong surface winds and heavy rains would continue, he said.
According to the department, Nungambakkam and Taramani recorded 6 cm of rain and Meenambakkam received 5 cm till 5.30 p.m. Other stations, including Ennore (4 cm), too received moderate rainfall.
On Friday, Coimbatore, Nilgiris and Kanniyakumari may receive isolated heavy rainfall, the department said.
By Thursday, over 12,300 people had been accommodated in 229 relief camps in 15 rain-affected districts across the State, Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran said. This included 2,240 people staying in 44 relief camps in the Greater Chennai Corporation area. Teams from the National Disaster Response Force fanned out to assist with relief operations in various districts, including Chennai, Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Cuddalore, Madurai, Nagapattinam, Tiruvallur. State Disaster Response Force teams assisted in Cuddalore and Thanjavur according to official sources.
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Over 500 residential areas in Chennai were reportedly affected by flooding.
Meanwhile, the Tiruvallur district administration has increased water release from the Poondi reservoir to 9,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) at 4 p.m. as the water body received a heavy inflow of 11,000 cusecs. The combined storage in the city’s reservoirs was being maintained at 80% to maintain space for sufficient inflows.
Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi discussed the ongoing relief and rescue operations with Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on the phone on Thursday. Mr. Stalin also urged Ministers on flood duty and officials to expedite rescue and rain relief operations. During the day, he visited a few rain-affected areas in the city, supervising removal of trees and distribution of food to affected residents.