Chennai declared a disaster zone, battered by the most devastating flood in the last 100 years


Chennai city in Tamil Nadu, India was hit by another continuous spell of heavy rainfall on November 30, 2015. The fresh non-stop downpours over the last two days have left the city completely immersed in water. An unprecedented flooding event which broke the last 100 years of record rainfalls in the area has lead to Chennai being declared a disaster zone, as of December 2.

Chennai city, already saturated with continuous heavy rainfalls and floods from November 13, experienced a new round of non-stop torrential rainfall since November 30. All 4.6 million residents of the city have been affected by the devastating floods in some way, and all the defense services in the city have been mobilized to engage in providing relief and rescue services across the area. Food packages and other relief items have been dispatched to the worst hit areas.

Deep low over the Bay of Bengal affecting Tamil Nadu, India, December 2, 2015. Image credit: NASA/Terra MODIS

72-hr rainfall accumulation as observed by GPM Core Observatory. Image credit: Google/NASA/JAXA GPM

A local airport has been closed and all the incoming and outgoing flights have been canceled, media reports. About 700 people have been left stranded at the airport by the floods. More than 50 trains have been canceled or diverted, as the tracks have been immersed into water at several places.

According to newest media reports, Chennai has now been declared a disaster zone. A persistent low over the Bay of Bengal is expected to continue producing heavy rainfall over the next 7 days. Since November 13, at least 188 people have lost their lives in flood related incidents.

Video credit: Suresh Raghuraman via YouTube

A total of 490 mm (19.3 inches) of rainfall accumulation has been reported in Tambaram suburb of Chennai by the Indian Meteorological Department.

The districts of Cuddalore, Coimbatore and Nilgiris should brace for another 24 hours of torrential downpours, according to the weather office in Chennai. People in low lying areas are currently being evacuated to safety.

Video credit: Manorama Online

The Hindu, one of India's oldest newspaper, published daily since 1878, has for the first time not been printed on December 2, due to disastrous weather conditions in the region.

Featured image: Chennai city under water in unprecedented flooding evebt, December 1, 2015. Image credit: Manorama Online

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  1. It’s not natural disaster. Technically the amount of rained is high but the destruction & damage happend only due to poor leadership & planning.
    Nov 15th 2015 got flooded, after that they didnt take any steps or plans , Nov 28, 29, 30th there won’t be any heavy rain but only .650 to 800 c – water has been released from lakes, and while raining authorities are not in a position to take decision for releasing the water as it increasing the levels. Dec 1st & 2nd they had opened without 30000 c from chembarumbakkam. Thus created the damage.
    In future also they don’t make any plans and its fate for people to depend on luck that there won’t be any disaster from nature in future.

  2. It is very pathetic situation in Chennai. The marooned people need all our help .No point in blaming any system and people. One must do what ever he/she can do to ameliorate the sufferings of the chennaites .Good gesture of Karnataka government is to be appreciated.If other states in India come forward withphilanthrophic gestures,it will reduce the distress of the effected people.

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