TN rains: Chennai streets flooded; airport arrivals resume after suspension
The heavy rains in Tamil Nadu worsened on Thursday as the depression over the Bay of Bengal crossed the coast near Chennai in the evening. Earlier in the day, it was announced that arrivals at the Chennai airport would remain suspended till 6 pm. Arrivals have since resumed. Several streets in Chennai were waterlogged even as strong crosswinds lashed the city.
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Tamil Nadu has been witnessing intense rainfall for the past four days. At least 14 people have died in the state in rain-related incidents. The state has recorded more than 50% excess rainfall compared to the historical average between October 1 and November 10. During this period, Chennai received 61 cm of rain against an average of 41 cm in the past.
Arrivals were suspended 'considering passenger safety'
The Airport Authority of India said the decision to suspend arriving flights was taken "considering the safety aspect of passengers and severity of the wind." Reportedly, 24 flights were affected at the Chennai airport as of Thursday morning. Eleven flights that were supposed to arrive in the city reportedly could not land. Eleven arrival flights and three departure flights were also delayed.
Extremely heavy rainfall in 8 districts
Extremely heavy rainfall has been predicted for eight districts as well as in neighboring Puducherry. Earlier, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued a red alert for Chennai, Tiruvallur, Ranipet, Vellore, Tirupattur, Tiruvannamalai, Kallakurichi, and Salem. The red alert for Chennai has now been withdrawn. Incidentally, Chennai and the nearby Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, and Villupuram had also witnessed heavy rainfall on Wednesday.
Depression moving toward northern coast: IMD
The depression has started crossing the coast near Chennai. The process will continue for the next two to three hours, according to the IMD. The depression was earlier moving northwestwards at a speed of 14 km/h. Heavy rain over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh is likely to decrease from Friday. Thursday's rainfall is expected to be more pronounced over Andhra Pradesh.
Vehicular, train traffic affected
The incessant rainfall in Tamil Nadu has also impacted vehicular and train traffic. The traffic police closed at least seven roads and 11 subways in Chennai as floods and waterlogging paralyzed daily life in the city. A majority of services from Chennai Central to Tiruvallur had been suspended due to water on tracks at Avadi and Ambattur, the Southern Railways said.
Schools, colleges shut for 4th straight day
Schools and colleges in Chennai and other districts have been closed for the fourth consecutive day. The government has urged people to stay indoors and asked them not to venture out unless it is an emergency.
Damage assessment panel set up
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has formed a six-member ministerial panel headed by state cooperatives minister I Periyasamy to assess crop damage in the Delta region and submit a report to the government. As many as 1,146 huts and 237 houses had been completely damaged due to the recent rains, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister KSSR Ramachandran said.