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Chennai flood

Heavy rains bring Indian city to standstill

Published : 08 Nov 2021 09:54 PM | Updated : 09 Nov 2021 03:18 PM

Heavy showers and thunderstorms have caused severe flooding in the southern Indian city of Chennai.

No deaths have been reported, but officials in the state of Tamil Nadu, of which Chennai is the capital, have issued warnings to evacuate people from low-lying areas.

Local media footage showed uprooted trees and cars submerged as water quickly rose to block roads.

This is the heaviest rainfall in the city since 2015.

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Although the city is frequently hit with heavy rains this time of the year, experts say unchecked development and bad urban planning leads to the destruction and chaos. Climate change caused by global warming has also contributed to the problem, making extreme rainfall more likely and more frequent.

On Sunday, parts of Chennai faced power cuts for several hours as the power department shut off supply as a precautionary measure to avoid incidents of electrocution.

Footage showed people being rescued on rubber boats as muddy brown waters gushed into their homes. The National Disaster Response Force and the army are helping in the rescue work.

Most of the main streets have been waterlogged since Saturday, bringing the city to a standstill. Several people on social media said the situation was as grim as the floods of 2015, when over 200 people had lost their lives in the state.

Weather officials said on Sunday that heavy rains were expected to continue for the next 48 hours in different parts of Tamil Nadu, prompting authorities to declare a two-day holiday for educational institutions.

All schools and colleges in Chennai and three neighbouring districts will remain shut and officials have advised against travelling in the hazardous conditions. Fishermen along the coast have also been asked not to venture into the sea.

Chennai's municipality said it had opened up relief centres and medical camps across the city and was distributing food to flood victims.

Tamil Nadu's Chief Minister MK Stalin said that Chennai, along with 11 other districts, were affected by more than 20cm (8in) of rainfall, according to ANI news agency, adding that he had asked all his ministers to help in recovery efforts.

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