At least seven die in Chennai rains, city hit harder than during the great floods of 2015

The heavy rains have forced Chennai Airport  to close down its airfield from 9.17am to 9am on December 5.
A commuter on a waterlogged road during heavy rain owing to Cyclone Michaung, in Chennai. (Photo | PTI)
A commuter on a waterlogged road during heavy rain owing to Cyclone Michaung, in Chennai. (Photo | PTI)

CHENNAI: The unprecedented rain brought on by the approach of Cyclone Michaung has pounded Chennai and left it reeling. Weather bloggers suggested that many parts of the city received more rain than during the great Chennai floods of 2015.

"There are comparisons now with 2015. In 2015, Nungambakkam got 294mm, Meenambakkam 345mm, Tambaram 494 mm, Chembarbakkam 475mm. Today Nungambakkam got 440mm in 36 hours, Meenambakkam  430 mm in 36 hours and Chembarbakkam 320mm in 36 hours...," Pradeep John, popular as Tamil Nadu weatherman on social media, shared.

"The city has got more rains than 2015, but let's wait for Chembarbakkam upstream data too. Rather than comparing with 2015, I would say this is the perfect storm..." he added.

People were marooned, most roads were flooded and some caved in , trees were felled by furious winds, and cars and other vehicles were seen floating around. Many parts of the city were left without power as water gushed in uninvited and without respite.

There were also unfortunate deaths. 

At least seven people have reportedly died.

Chennai police confirmed receiving reports of five deaths across the city.

The body of an unidentified man aged around 70 years was found on a platform near the Vaidyanathan flyover. His body was sent to the Government Stanley Hospital.

Another body of an unidentified woman aged around 60 years was found at the Foreshore Estate bus depot.

Padmanaban (50), Dindigul district, died after getting electrocuted. His body was sent to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai. 

A fourth man, Ganesan (70), also was electrocuted while walking near his house in Pandiyan Nagar.

A fifth man, 37-year-old Manoharan from Adyar, was killed after a treee fell on him while riding pillion on a motorcyle.

Two others, guest workers, staying in a thatched hut in Kanathur near an under-construction building died after a wall collapsed in Kanathur. 

December 5 to be a public holiday

The government has announced that December 5 will also be a public holiday. It had earlier announced that December 4 will be a public holiday.

All educational institutions and government offices will remain closed.

The state government has also requested private establishments in four districts - Chennai, Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu to allow their employees to work from home on December 5 Tuesday too as far as possible, due to heavy rains and its impact.

Chennai airport to be shut till 9am on December 5, first such shutdown since 2015 floods

The heavy rains, have forced Chennai Airport  to close down its airfield from 9.17am to 9am on December 5, according to official sources. During 2015 in Chennai, the floods had forced the closure of the airport for at least four days.

Many passengers awaiting their flights were stranded for hours as flights could not take off due to gusty wind and rains and also since water from Adyar River had entered the runway.

Earlier, five flights departing from Chennai were canceled and 23 flights diverted. Two arrivals were also canceled, according to Chennai airport sources.

While many passengers left for home, others stayed back. Many aircraft are still waiting at the tarmac to depart once the weather turns normal, airport sources said.

Food and other arrangements have been made for those staying back as part of the contingency plan.

Ground handlers have been advised to ensure mooring of aircraft and  safety of ground support equipments and operating personnel.


In 2015, the Airport Authority of India had joined hands with the Indian Institute Technology to map the geography of the airport and its surrounding areas using a drone to plan a long-term solution to prevent flooding. It was then planned to map the airport and the surrounding water bodies up to 5-10 kilometers radius from the airport.

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority has informed the Madras High Court the study has been done but this is yet to be made public.

Heavy rain brings crocodile to Chennai road

Meanwhile, a viral video of mugger crocodile, which was spotted by passers-by near Velammal School along the Perungalathur-Nedungunram road on Sunday night has sparked concern among the residents and forest department officials.

The crocodile was seen crossing the road near Perunguathur and entering the bushes.

Prasanth E, Wildlife Warden, Chennai told The New Indian Express that this is not the first time crocodiles have been spotted in the area.

Last year, two crocodiles have been spotted and they have been captured by the forest department. “We have given them the phone numbers to inform us if they sight any crocodiles,” said Prasanth.

Tamil Nadu's secretary for environment, climate change and forests Supriya tweeted urging people to not go near the reptile as they were shy creatures who avoid human contact.

"There are a few mugger crocodiles in several of the water bodies in Chennai. They are shy and elusive animals and avoid human contact. This one has come out as water has overflowed due to massive rains under the impact of Cyclone Michuang. Wildlife divisin has been alerted and they are on the job," she said.

Rain holiday for Madras HC

The Madras High Court declared a rain holiday on December 4 for the principal bench in Chennai in view of torrential rains due to Michaung cyclone.

The Registry made the announcement after due consideration of the prevailing situation and the forecast of heavy spells of showers, taking back an earlier announcement that courts would function without passing adverse orders since counsels for all the parties to the litigation may not be able to attend the proceedings.

A similar holiday was also declared for all subordinate courts in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpet.

Lawyers associations including the Madras High Court Advocates Association had asked the Chief Justice to declare a holiday taking into account the heavy rains.

NS Balachandran, Chennai Regional Metrology Director, said, "Cyclone 'Michaung' will move parallel to the coast of north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh, expected to cross Nellore-Machilipatnam by tomorrow at 4 pm. Heavy rainfall and strong winds are likely to continue till this evening in Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur districts."

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