Several districts in Tamil Nadu are being hit by heavy rains in the wake of the northeast monsoon. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) reported on Wednesday that the rains would continue until November 6, as it was previously speculated that the weather would prevail until November 4.
Highest rainfall in three decades
For the first time in three decades, Nungambakkam, a central area of the city recorded 8 CM in a single day and suburban Red Hills 13 CM followed by 12 CM in Perambur, also in the city.
There was widespread rain in Tamil Nadu with rainfall ranging from 1CM to 9CM including areas of the Cauvery Delta and coastal regions such as Kanyakumari. Northeast monsoon rains started in Tamil Nadu on October 29.
A couple of areas in the districts that are in the delta area of Cauvery, Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga, may also witness heavy rain. Anglers are advised not to venture out to sea.
Meanwhile, the state government has declared a rainy holiday for schools and colleges in Chennai, Thiruvallur and Ranipet. Schools and universities will also remain closed in Vellore, Kanjipuram, Vilupuram and Chengalpattu.
Chennai received up to 126.1mm of rain from 8:30 am yesterday to 5:30 am today.
According to the Regional Meteorological Center, Chennai will witness heavy rain on November 2 and adjoining districts such as Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu will witness heavy rain in the coming days.
“Light to moderate showers with thunderstorms and lightning are likely in one or two places over Thiruvannamalai, Villupuram, Tirupattur, Kallakurichi, Cuddalore, Ariyalur, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai, Theni, Tenkasi, Virudhunagar, Ramanathapuram, Thirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and Karaikal for the next three hours,” Chennai RMC said.
What is northeast monsoon?
The northeast monsoon defines the monsoon as a “seasonal change in the direction of the prevailing or strongest winds in a region”. The Northeast monsoon, currently hitting Tamil Nadu, lasts between October and December.
These are most often associated with the Indian Ocean. The southwest monsoon (summer) and the northeast monsoon (winter) determine most of India’s climate.
Impact on Tamil Nadu
The monsoon comprises 11 per cent of the country’s rainfall, according to MSN. However, Tamil Nadu receives about half of its annual rainfall of 914mm during the northeast monsoon, according to PTI.
Like the southwest monsoon in most parts of the country, the northeast monsoon affects agricultural activity in the southern Indian peninsula. Seasonal rains have an impact on the productivity of rice and maize in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
As far as Chennai city is concerned, 8CM of heavy rain was recorded in Nungambakkam on November 1st. It is the first highest in the past 30 years and the third highest in the past 72 years, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Center Regional Meteorological, S Balachandran told reporters. In 1990, the city saw rainfall of 13 CM and 11 CM in 1964, both on November 1.
Several stretches near the Anna Salai artery here, the congested parts of busy north Chennai, the quiet neighbourhoods tucked away in the southern and northern regions of the city, and the suburbs witnessed flooding. Similar was the scenario in several other parts of the State.
While a man was electrocuted here last night, a woman was killed after parts of a residential building collapsed on the north side of Pulianthope. A cow was electrocuted in the suburb. The water entered houses in low-lying areas in some parts of northern Chennai.
Public holiday declared in schools
In at least 8 districts, including Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengelpet, a holiday has been declared for schools.
A weather bulletin said a cyclonic circulation was sweeping over northern Sri Lanka and surrounding low-level areas and “a channel extends from this system to the southeastern Arabian Sea.” Northeast winds continue to persist across and out of northern Tamil Nadu and adjacent coastal areas.
Municipal Administration Minister KN Nehru said that 75 per cent of the stormwater drainage work has been completed in the Chennai Corporation areas. Several areas that used to witness flooding in the past, such as GN Chetty Road in the city center, have not been flooded due to drainage improvement work, Nehru said.
Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Minister PK Sekar Babu also listed the localities that had witnessed monsoon flooding in previous years (during the AIADMK regime). He stressed that in view of the implementation of the upgrade and improvement of stormwater drainage work, there was no stagnation of water in the localities prone to flooding.
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