More rains predicted for Chennai, woman dies in wall collapse

Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, received good rains on Thursda, bringing much-needed respite to the parched city. And, weather officials have predicted more showers in the days to come.

In one of the heaviest spells received so far this year, Chennai recorded 10.4cm of rain since Wednesday night. The rain claimed the life of a 45-year-old woman.

Zareena Banu of Ayyappa Chetty Street in Mannadi was sleeping when a part of the wall of her house collapsed and fell on her. She died on the spot.

The city’s wettest day of the year so far also led to waterlogging in several areas, exposing its unpreparedness to face the northeast monsoon next month.

Slowing traffic during the early part of the day to a crawl, waterlogging took residents by surprise. Meteorological Department officials said the all-night showers made it the wettest day of the year, with the highest rain for a single day in September, in a decade. The city had earlier recorded nearly 9 cm of rainfall on September 11, 2013.

Tamil Nadu has been reeling under acute water stress for the past several months as Porur Lake, one of the main sources of water has reached its lowest level.

The collapse of the rainwater harvest system, which was quite efficient till about 15 years ago, is one of the prime reasons for water crisis in the city, say experts. Scorching heat and delayed monsoon further escalated the water shortage.

According to a Chennai Corporation release, despite the heavy rain, waterlogging was seen at only 37 places by 5 p.m. A sum of Rs 3,000 crore has been spent on stormwater drains in the city in the last five years.