Explained: Why Chennai Is Facing Floods Despite 3319 Km Of Storm Water Drains

(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) Chennai is grappling with relentless and extremely heavy rainfall as Cyclone Michaung continues to unleash its fury on the city. The cyclone, accompanied by strong gusts of wind, has led to widespread waterlogging in almost all parts of the city, prompting authorities to halt suburban railway services and declare a public holiday. The Greater Chennai Corporation reported a staggering 340mm of rainfall until early Monday morning, exacerbating the already critical situation.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued warnings for Chennai, Thiruvallur, and Kancheepuram, forecasting heavy rains over the next couple of days. Persistent western clouds, moving sluggishly over Chennai, are expected to contribute to substantial rainfall until the evening or night.

Chennai Corporation Commissioner Dr J Radhakrishnan addressed the media, highlighting the cyclone's proximity to the Chennai coast and the slow pace of its movement. He explained that the heavy downpour was a result of the cyclone's persistent position, causing challenges for the drainage system comprising 31 micro-canals, four major canals, and three rivers.

"The bigger challenge for us is that we have 31 micro-canals, four major canals, and three rivers. All of them drain into the Bay of Bengal through four outlets. In those particular areas, because of heavy waves, the excess water is not going out. That is having a cascading impact over the city," said Commissioner Radhakrishnan.

The control room of the corporation is actively monitoring low-lying areas and strategic locations affected by inundation. Eleven out of the 22 subways in the city have been closed due to waterlogging. The control room is inundated with calls reporting stagnation of water, damaged street lights, sewerage overflow, fallen trees, power outages, and fallen poles and hoardings.

Commissioner Radhakrishnan reassured residents, stating, "Many question us about the situation citing that Chennai has 3319 km of storm water drains. It is much beyond the capacity of these drains and the challenge is with regard to the Bay of Bengal accepting this water. In the case the tide subsides, the water will go out; we will be able to quickly drain the water out. We have almost 1000 pumps, tree-cutting equipment. We are working with the experts as well."

The Greater Chennai Corporation has released details of medical camps set up in various locations to address the health needs of the affected residents. The situation remains critical as the city grapples with the aftermath of Cyclone Michaung's impact.


AsiaNet News

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