Visuals of waterlogging bringing back grim memories of the 2015 floods in Chennai. PTI
Heavy rain in Chennai and nearby areas has prompted authorities to take emergency steps, including an order to schools in four districts to stay shut for the next two days. National Disaster Response Force has been called in to assist in rescue work.
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Schools and colleges in Chennai and three other districts have been ordered to stay shut for the next two days as heavy rain hammers several parts of north coastal Tamil Nadu. Most government offices will remain shut on Monday. Chief Minister M K Stalin has appealed to private firms to announce a holiday or allow employees to work from home.
Chennai received a downpour through the night, recording 21 cm of rainfall till 8.30 am on Sunday morning. Several low-lying areas of the city were flooded.
The weather department has predicted that isolated places in north coastal Tamil Nadu will receive heavy to very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall throughout Sunday due to the influence of a cyclonic circulation in Bay of Bengal. The department has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall on Monday. It has also warned of another spell of rainfall on Tuesday and Wednesday.
With the lakes around Chennai swelling, water is being released from the Chembarambakkam lake. The 85.4 feet-high lake now has water till 82.35 feet. In 2015, Chennai was flooded due to sudden excessive discharge from Chembarambakkam lake amid heavy rainfall.
Officials said this regular discharge of water will not lead to flooding but if there is excess rain, areas around Muduchur may get inundated.
A flood alert has been issued in Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu districts on the banks of River Adyar. Schools have been ordered to stay shut in Thiruvallur, Chengalpattu and Kanchipuram districts.
Chief Minister M K Stalin has discussed preparedness with district collectors and visited 14 waterlogged areas, including Egmore, Padi bridge, Padi Bridge and Jawahar Nagar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he has spoken to Chief Minister Stalin and assured him all support from the centre in rescue and relief work.
Following a request from the state government, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed four teams to assist in rescue operations.
The heavy rain has hit road and rail services. Though a few flights were delayed, there was no major disruption in air services, news agency PTI reported.