DTE: "Is Chennai prepared for a severe bout of northeast monsoon rainfall?"

November 11, 2021

Fears of floods of the scale of the 2015 deluge are looming over Chennai where at least five people have died in rain-related incidents since last week. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted widespread rainfall in Tamil Nadu in the coming days, with forecasts of heavy to very heavy rainfall in Chennai. 

The northeast monsoon unleashed its fury in the state last week, swamping large parts of residential areas and commercial centres. 

The answer is a mix of affirmative and negative. A combination of technological and religious reasons (radar glitches and Diwali festive mood) led to misjudgement of the severity of the rainfall and flooding. Chennai recorded 200 millimetres (mm) of rainfall on the night of November 6. 

State officials are concerned because no rainfall alert was issued ahead of the downpour. It was announced that the city is under a green-coded (no warning, no action) alert for until November 10. 

Is it the lack of a reliable radar weather system the main reason? North Chennai has received the heaviest rainfall but low-lying areas like Velachery and Palikarnai were massively flooded.

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Avilash Roul, Down To Earth, (November 10, 2021)