Tamil Nadu

When cities went under water

A 1985 picture of the Marmalong bridge in Saidapet that was submerged a week ago. Photo: Archives

A 1985 picture of the Marmalong bridge in Saidapet that was submerged a week ago. Photo: Archives  

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The last century have shown that there were several catastrophic flooding in Chennai in 1943, 1978, 1985, 2002 and 205 caused by heavy rain associated with cyclonic activity. These disruptive events were found to be atrributable to failure in maintaining major rivers and drainage systems. Flooding of lesser magnitude occurs regularly in low-lying areas of Chennai and its suburbs because of inoperativeness of the local drainage infrastructure



Memories of rain ravaged Madras

Though cyclones, depressions and storms are an annual occurrence in Chennai, some years like 1985 or 1976 are unforgettable.

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Flooding of temple city Madurai in 1993

Rainfall triggered by a severe cyclonic storm between December 1 and 4, 1993, resulted in release of about one lakh cusecs of water into the Vaigai

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The 1977 floods in Tiruchi

For several long-time residents of Tiruchi, last week’s Chennai floods brought back vivid memories of the 1977 floods that ravaged the city

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Two lakh cusecs released into Thamirabharani in 1992

After heavy downpour battered Ambasamudram and Papanasam, in 1992, residents confined themselves to their houses out of fear.

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A look at the floods that ravaged Chennai then and now:



1 The floods in 1943 were historic and damaged Cooum river very badly. Based on the Er.A.R.Venkatachary's Report the government had improved the Cooum river and provided a sand pump at the river mouth of sand bar.
2 In 1978, there was catastrophic flooding in Chennai and this time it was the turn of the Adyar river. Earlier, Er.P.Sivalingam Committee had given its recommendations for prevention for further damages from floods and recommended schemes to be implemented in the short and long terms.
3 The floods that occurred in 2005 were one of the worst in living memory. Although several ameliorating measures have been implemented they have failed to provide total relief to Chennai citizens.
4 Most of the existing waterways are silted and their flow channels and banks are obstructed with encraochments and structures. So is the case with reservoirs and tanks. Secondly several of the areas under tanks and their anicuts have been developed as residential neighbourhoods over the years.
5 T.Nagar, Nungambakkam, Vyasarpadi are instances in this respect. The Taramani area has been developed as an institutional area. Thirdly the geological structure particularly in the south-west is not conducive to water infiltration.


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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 9:00:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/floods-in-tamil-nadu-cities/article7965264.ece

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