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Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has sought help from the Army to launch relief and rescue on war footing after the state has been experiencing continuous rain since last night.
About 23 To 37 centimetres of rain poured on Tamil Nadu on a single day, the Chief Minister said. The water has been pumped out from 207 of 587 flooded locations, she said. The rainfall is expected to gradually reduce now.
More than 5,000 people have been evacuated from low lying areas in Chennai, the government said. It has also distributed 90,000 food packets. Nine National Disaster Response Force teams are working in Tamil Nadu, besides state teams.
As many areas in Chennai have been inundated, road traffic has been severely hit and schools and colleges have been ordered to remain closed till Tuesday. Boats are being used in flooded areas to rescue stranded people.
The chief minister has been criticized by the opposition for saying "losses are unavoidable when there is very heavy rainfall." PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss has said her statement "belittles the suffering of the common man."
The worst-hit areas in the city include Velachery, Tambaram, Old Mahabalipuram Road, Anna Nagar and Koyambedu. Many roads in the IT corridor and the usually busy Velachery- Tambaram highway has also been inundated.
Water-clogged roads gave office goers a harrowing time this morning. Pedestrians were seen wading through waist-deep to knee-deep water in many areas. "The road here looks like Marina beach," a resident from Velachery told NDTV. Another complained of how difficult it was to procure essential commodities like milk.
Hassled residents posted pictures of waterlogged roads on Twitter. "Though a temporary one, but India certainly has got a Venice of its own. #ChennaiRains," wrote a user. "Rain exposes poor planning of Chennai .Water logged everywhere. #chennairains," added another.
Schools and colleges in Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kancheepuram have been ordered to remain closed till tomorrow. Anna University has postponed exams scheduled to take place from November 16-18.
71 people have died in rain-related incidents in Tamil Nadu since November 9, when a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal crossed near the Tamil Nadu-Puducherry coast, resulting in heavy rain and consequent flood in many parts of the state. Cuddalore district, 180 kms from Chennai, was the worst hit.