Chennai gets its wettest January in decades

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 05, 2021

Excess water being discharged from the Redhills reservoir after the heavy rain on Tuesday   -  THE HINDU

‘In 15 hours, the city got seven times the entire month’s rainfall’

Chill weather is the norm for Chennai in January. But, this year, the city was off to a wet start with incessant rain pounding Tamil Nadu’s capital since Monday night. It was the heaviest rainfall in January in decades for Chennai, say experts.

The heavy rainfall led to waterlogging in several parts of the city. People stayed indoors and there was limited public transport throughout the day. Many of the offices declared holiday on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority said that among the 11 Taluks in the city, Guindy recorded the highest rainfall of 155 mm; followed by Mambalam (143.60 mm); Ayanavaram (125.20 mm); Sholinganallur (120 mm); Perambur (116); Mylapore (115.40 mm) Alanthur (105 mm); Tondiarpet (104 mm) and the rest below 100 mm.

“No cyclone, No Depression, No Low pressure. Yet, what rainfall we have seen in Chennai and by January standards our rainfall is just 20 mm, yet we have got over 7 times the January month rainfall in less than 15 hours,” said independent weather watcher Pradeep John, a weather blogger.

With all the Chennai reservoirs nearing around 90 per cent of full storage capacity, there is high alert in the city as water was let out from both Chembarambakkam and Red Hills lakes in the afternoon.

An advisory by the Union Ministry of Jal Shakthi, Department of Water Resources, said that most of the Chennai reservoirs have reached near full storage capacity — Poondi (97.03 per cent; Cholavaram (81.50 per cent); Red Hills (97.5 per cent) and Chembarambakkam (92.29 per cent). High alert may be given to authorities downstream.

Meanwhile, the Public Works Department opened the shutters of Chembarambakkam and Red Hills reservoirs. In the afternoon, the PWD released 2,000 cusecs from Chembarambakkam and 500 cusecs from Red Hills.

More rain expected

Heavy rainfall with lightning and thunderstorm is expected over the city suburbs in the next two days.

A stream of easterlies is seen converging along the coast, particularly from Chennai to Karaikal.

With inputs from Vinson Kurian, Thiruvananthapuram

Published on January 05, 2021

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