CHENNAI: Forget Black Friday. November 16 will forever be remembered by the city as ‘Sunk Monday’, as Chennaiites woke up to overflowing canals, overcast skies and roads that resembled Venice’s well-contoured waterways. After a night when the water levels on city roads maxed out, leading to vehicle breakdowns and innumerable power cuts (done preemptively by TANGEDCO), several low-lying suburbs were completely inundated — requiring rescue via boats and IAF choppers.
Perhaps the only good news for city residents was that the low pressure system that assaulted the city from Friday night has finally turned its attention towards the southern coast of Andhra Pradesh. “The well-marked low pressure region has moved away and northwards. We will see rains decrease steadily over the next few days. In fact, we have already noticed a decrease in intensity,” said S R Ramanan, director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre.
With the low pressure system heading towards the south Andhra and northern TN coast, places in north coastal TN adjoining Rayalaseema and Andhra, such as Vellore, Tiruvallur, Chennai and Kancheepuram besides Puducherry, will receive fairly widespread rainfall, said the Met department. Some of the southern districts too are likely to receive rainfall in one or two places over the next few hours.
Though it was moving away, the system drenched the city with the highest amount of rainfall it has witnessed in a November day since 2009. The Nungambakkam weather station recorded 246.5 mm of rainfall between 8.30 am on Sunday and 8.30 am on Monday.
In a statement here, the Chief Minister said due to expeditious relief works in Cuddalore district under the supervision of senior ministers and officials, uninterrupted power supply has been restored in 671 village panchayats, against the total 683 panchayats. In the villages where there was no power, drinking water is being supplied through tanker lorries. While 40 medical camps were functioning in the district, 121 special camps had been held for cattle stock. Through 70 relief camps, 58,000 food packets have been distributed.
In Chennai, of the 587 places affected by rain, stagnant water had been baled out in 207 spots and Corporation officials were draining out the water in the rest of the places. Rainwater has been pumped out from all sub-ways except those in six places and traffic had been regulated. As many as 5,335 people living in low-lying areas had been given shelter in safer places and over 90,000 food packets had been distributed in 101 relief camps.
In Tiruvallur district, 18,501 food packets had been distributed to affected people through 57 relief camps and 2,958 people have been given shelter in 57 places. Stagnant water in areas like Tiruvotriyur, Avadi, Ambattur, Tirunindravur was being pumped out. In Kancheepuram district, people in low-lying areas had been moved to safety and 16,000 food packets have been distributed.
Special teams from National Disaster Rescue Force and State Disaster Rescue Force as well as Coast Guard were deployed to help people. Help from the Army had also been sought.