Chennai rains: A city’s struggle for water and survival

Chennai rains: A city’s struggle for water and survival

Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, is facing a severe water crisis as heavy rains and cyclone Michaung have caused widespread flooding and disruption.

The city’s airport, roads, and public transport have been affected by the deluge, and several flights have been cancelled or diverted.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for Tiruvallur district and an orange alert for Chennai and its neighbouring districts for Monday, December 4, 2023.

According to the IMD, cyclone Michaung is expected to cross the coast between Nellore and Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh with winds that could reach speeds of 100 kmph on Monday morning.

The cyclone is likely to bring heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy falls at isolated places over north coastal Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh, and Rayalaseema.

The IMD has also advised fishermen not to venture into the sea and people to stay indoors and follow the do’s and don’ts during lightning and thunderstorms.

The Chennai Corporation has set up 176 relief centres across the city to accommodate people affected by the floods.

The civic body has also deployed boats, pumps, and generators to clear the waterlogged areas and restore power supply. The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of those who died due to the rains.

The chief minister MK Stalin has also requested the central government to provide assistance to the state in dealing with the situation.

The residents of Chennai have been sharing their plight and experiences on social media, posting videos and pictures of cars floating, crocodiles strolling, and streets submerged in water.

Some have also offered help and support to those in need, providing food, water, and shelter. Many have also praised the efforts of the civic authorities, police, and volunteers in rescuing and helping the people.

The Chennai rains have once again exposed the city’s vulnerability to extreme weather events and the need for better urban planning and disaster management.

The city has witnessed several floods in the past, most notably in 2015, when more than 500 people died and millions were displaced.

Experts have attributed the frequent flooding to the loss of wetlands, encroachment of water bodies, poor drainage, and climate change.

They have also suggested measures such as restoring the natural water systems, improving the stormwater network, enforcing the building regulations, and enhancing the early warning and response systems.

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