Heavy to very heavy rain pounded Chennai and the suburbs on Thursday, inundating roads and subways. Reports said three people were killed in rain-related incidents.
The victims, two women and a boy, died of electrocution here, Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management, KKSSR Ramachandran said. It was a repeat of scenes witnessed here in November as motorists struggled to manoeuvre their vehicles on flooded roads and subways while showers led to traffic congestion in the city and suburbs.
The intense spell may turn out to be one of the heaviest witnessed in recent years, while police said three subways were closed and in view of inundation and traffic moved at a snails pace in at least 14 arterial city thoroughfares. Greater Chennai Corporation said that over 145 pumps were used to de-clog inundated locations.
Metrorail authorities said services were extended by an hour from 11 pm in view of the rain to help commuters reach their destinations safely.
Starting from noon, most areas in the city and suburbs began receiving rainfall and it was heavy to very heavy in several locations.
According to India Meterological Department (IMD), the highest rainfall of 17.65 cm was recorded in MRC Nagar here. It was 14.65 cm and 10 cm at Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam respectively. In other areas, including those falling under neighbouring Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts, the showers ranged from 1 cm (Madhavaram) to 10 cm (Nandanam). The rainfall data was recorded between 8.30 am and 6.15 pm today.
Moderate Rain (5-15 mm/hr), thunderstorm, gusty winds (40-50 kmph) & lightning likely over Ramanathapuram, Sivagangai, Madurai, Dindigul, Pudukkottai, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Chengalpattu, Chennai, Thiruvalluvar, Ranippettai districts of Tamilnadu during next 03 hrs.
— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) December 30, 2021
Isolated heavy to very rainfall activity is likely to continue over north coastal Tamil Nadu and adjoining areas of south coastal Andhra Pradesh during next three days and decrease thereafter, the IMD said. Weather enthusiasts made claims in the social media vis-a-vis the intensity of rains and on showers beating previous records.
See video: Heavy rain in Chennai
One such claim said Thursdays rains in Chennai was the heaviest for a single day in the month of December after 2015. IMD officials here, however, did not confirm such claims.
Officials said a conclusion could be arrived at only after looking into actual rainfall for the 24-hour period and following a scrutiny of previous data.
Enthusiast Pradeep John (Tamil Nadu Weatherman) tweeted, “Mylapore crosses 200 mm. One of the craziest spells of lifetime. Chennai City (Nungambakkam) beats 2015 annual rainfall.” In another tweet, he said, “2015 annual rainfall is overtaken by 2021 & is the 3rd wettest year of all time behind 2005 & 1996.” He had also given data for Chennai city (Nungambakkam) to support his claim.
Mylapore crosses 200 mm. One of the craziest spells of lifeime. Chennai City (Nunga) beats 2015 annual rainfall
More clouds blooming off Chennai coast and looks like rains wont stop anytime soon. Go home safe, avoid T.Nagar, Alwarpet, Royapettah, Nunga & surrounding areas. pic.twitter.com/SOmwY1Lbhf
— Pradeep John (Tamil Nadu Weatherman) (@praddy06) December 30, 2021
Tamil Nadu witnessed heavy rainfall during the north east monsoon (October-December) monsoon and according to the weather office, presence of convective cells, led to rainfall.
A weather forecast by the IMD (issued 12.30 hours on December 30) had said:
“Thunderstorm with moderate rain is likely to occur at a few places over coastal Tamil Nadu. Thunderstorm with moderate rain is likely to occur at many places over Villupuram, Cuddalore and Delta districts, Puducherry and Karaikal. Light rain is also likely to occur at isolated places over Interior Tamil Nadu districts.”