Chennai, unseasonal rains, June
The Chennai Corporation staff removing a fallen tree at Ekaduthangal on Monday morning (June 19). (Image: @chennaicorp / Twitter)

Chennai rains: International flight operations returning to normal; trains partially cancelled

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Heavy overnight rains battered Chennai and its suburbs, prompting authorities to declare a public holiday for schools on Monday. Commuters faced difficulties navigating the deluge amidst traffic congestion in certain areas. Officials from the Greater Chennai Corporation reported that trees were uprooted in locations such as Ekkaduthangal, Adyar, and Nanganallur, and efforts were underway to clear them.

According to the regional weather office, Chennai Airport experienced the highest rainfall of 16 cm during the 24-hour period ending at 8.30 am on Monday. This led to disruptions in international flight operations, with approximately 10 incoming flights, including those from Doha, Colombo, and Dubai, being diverted to Bengaluru, consequently affecting departures as well. However, operations returned to normal later in the day.

Also read: Chennai rains: Flights diverted, holiday declared for schools

The Southern Railway announced the partial cancellation of several outbound services, including routes to Mysuru, Tirupati, Coimbatore, and Mumbai. This was due to waterlogging between Vyasarpadi and Basin Bridge junction. Nevertheless, services originating from other stations in and around the city, despite being scheduled to depart from Dr MGR Chennai Central, remained unaffected.

Summer relief

The heavy showers brought relief to residents who had been enduring sweltering heat in the city and its surrounding districts over the past few days. As a result of the rainfall, authorities declared a holiday for schools in Chennai and its neighbouring districts of Chengalpet, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Vellore, and Ranipet. The weather office predicted more rain showers for the city and its suburbs on Monday.

According to a bulletin tweeted at 10.30 am by the Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai Airport (16 cm) and Taramani (14 cm) received the highest rainfall in the last 24 hours. Chembarambakkam in the neighbouring Tiruvallur district recorded 13 cm of rainfall. Meanwhile, official figures indicated that the water levels in the various reservoirs supplying Chennai’s drinking water were satisfactory. 

The water level at Kannankottai-Thervoy Kandigai stood at 34.31 ft, compared to its full capacity of 36.31 ft. At Poondi, the level was 27.66 ft, while the full capacity is 35 ft, as stated in a tweet from the official handle of the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB). The lakes at Chembarambakkam, Cholavaram, Red Hills, and Veeranam (Cuddalore district) also had healthy water levels.

Heavy rains expected

S Balachandran, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, informed reporters that heavy rainfall was expected in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Tiruvannamalai, and the Cauvery delta districts, among others, within the next 24 hours. He attributed the rains to an upper air circulation. 

Meanwhile, KKSSR Ramachandran, the state Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management, stated that the government had instructed each district collector to oversee relief measures, particularly in coastal areas, and to take precautionary measures in advance.

In Chennai, 4,000 workers were on standby, and 260 pump sets were prepared for water drainage. Members of the State Disaster Relief force had already been dispatched to the Chennai Corporation to assist them, as per PTI. Ramachandran assured that there were no casualties or property damage reported thus far. If necessary, both the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) would be deployed for relief efforts, and social workers and volunteers would be mobilised as required.

The government has declared a holiday for schools in Chennai and five other districts on Monday  due to heavy rain.

(With agency inputs)

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