Authorities have assured there will be no flooding in Chennai and adjoining districts even as heavy rains ahead of the landfall of Cyclone Nivar on Wednesday inundated several water bodies in the capital city of Tamil Nadu as they have ensured the restricted release of surplus water and strengthening of river bunds over the years.
They have said 1,000 cubic metres per second or cusecs of water will be released from the Chembarambakkam reservoir on Wednesday afternoon and that families living along the Adyar River, which is linked to the reservoir, have been asked to be vigilant. The sudden release on huge quantities of water from Chembarambakkam, a source of drinking water for Chennai, into the Adyar River had resulted in the devastating floods in 2015 in Chennai and adjoining districts.
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The Central Water Commission (CWC) had asked authorities to maintain a vigil on reservoirs during high-intensity rainfall, saying there could be spillover from the Chembarambakkam reservoir. “Vigil has to be kept in reservoirs during high-intensity rainfall as catchments are nearly saturated. Further intense rainfall will lead to Chembarambakkam reservoir leading to spill and flood-type situation in rivers downstream,” CWC Chennai had said earlier in the week.
The commission has issued a fresh flood warning for the coming 24 hours in areas of coastal Tamil Nadu and south coastal Andhra Pradesh. “Flash Flood Guidance Outlook has been issued for the next 24 hours and for subsequent 12 hours issued by IMD that is valid till November 25th at 11:30 hours. Various watersheds in Coastal Tamil Nadu and South Coastal Andhra Pradesh are appended,” the CWC Official Flood Forecast had tweeted. “Situation is under constant watch and surveillance,” it added.
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Heavy rains continued on Wednesday inundating several localities in Chennai even as arterial roads and residential localities were waterlogged. More than 20 trees were uprooted and 100 people have been evacuated to relief camps in the city. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and rescue personnel have intensified rescue operations in Mahabalipuram, Cuddalore and Nagapattinam.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday that landfall of Cyclone Nirvar has been delayed. It said Nivar may to move northwestwards and cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry during midnight of November 25 and early hours of November 26 as a very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130kmph gusting to 145kmph.
Cyclone Nivar lay centred about 290km east-southeast of Cuddalore, about 300km east southeast of Puducherry and 350km south southeast of Chennai, it said in its morning bulletin.
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