Rain continued to come down in sheets till late Friday night in Chennai, taking the death toll from the northeast monsoon to 12 so far, and the city’s total rainfall to close to three-fourths of the average for a season that has just got started.
The city had by 8.30am on Friday — mostly from a mere eight days since the northeast monsoon set in on October 27 — already recorded 554.2mm of rainfall this year, or 74% of the long-term average of 750mm it receives annually in the rainy season, which the IMD calculates between October 1 and December 15.
Chennai had till Friday recorded 441.3mm of rainfall (58.84% of the seasonal average) from the northeast monsoon, Met office data showed.
Thursday’s rain was Chennai’s third-highest in history in a single day for November, behind only 452.2mm in 1976 and 246.15mm in 2015. It continued on Friday evening after a brief break, leaving the city precariously placed.
Several localities reported flooding, especially of interior roads, and the showers hit traffic for a second straight day. The Chennai district collector declared Saturday, a school holiday. Most districts have recorded more than average rainfall for the season so far, the Met office said.
Water levels in temple tanks started rising after monsoon struck Chennai and its neighbouring districts. A poor monsoon last year had left several temple tanks parched, and water in them has been met with enthusiasm among residents, as it also helps recharge groundwater levels.
Meanwhile, facing public ire amidst heavy rains and inundation, the Edappadi K Palaniswami government went on the offensive on Friday, listing out various flood-prevention as well as rehabilitation measures undertaken by the government.
A stretch of 300km, out of 386km-long drain network project, has been completed at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore in Chennai, as announced by Jayalalithaa during her tenure, Palaniswami said.