Heavy rainfall began again in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, closing the airport here and forcing information technology companies and factories around the state capital to declare a holiday.
Chennai airport has put all operations on hold after the runway and the tarmac were inundated. Source said the authorities had told passengers they would wait till 11.30 pm and then decide on starting operations. Flights were diverted to Bengalaru and Hyderabad.
Most offices, including information technology companies, automobile majors and others, have asked their employees go home, as most lakes and dams have started overflowing. In many parts, flood warnings were issued.
For instance, TCS asked all its employees across 13 offices in and around the city to go home after 1 pm. Some of the major factories also closed down.
A Cognizant spokesperson said: "As a result of heavy rains and flooding in some parts of Chennai, we decided to close our facilities in the city at 3:00 pm today and are providing all possible transportation support to ensure the safe return of employees. For employees who chose to stay back at our facilities to provide uninterrupted 24x7 support to critical client projects, we have made the necessary accommodation and food arrangements."
Schools and colleges remained closed on Tuesday, too. These development came after Chennai received 73 mm in three hours in the morning. The rain has virtually broken a 100-year-old record. The army was deployed in the evening in two suburban areas to undertake rescue on a war footing. The Chennai Collector had ordered the evacuation of people staying close to the water bodies and also people living close to the banks of the Adyar. The government issued a warning in several parts and people have been evacuated.
The weather department said rainfall would continue for a few days in many parts. A BBC Weather report said up to 500mm of rainfall would bring back flooding in parts of the southeast and might impact the industrial hub in and around Chennai in the next few days. Heavy rainfall was seen in the districts of Cuddalore, Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram, too.
After a break of three to four days, rainfall started during the weekend and intensified in Chennai from Monday night. The city ended up with 1,049.3 mm of rainfall on Monday due to a decrease in rain during the weekend.
Reports said a low pressure over Bay of Bengal near the South Andaman Sea and the Sri Lankan coast has moved to the southwest Bay of Bengal as one intense weather system. This is expected to bring very heavy rainfall, up to 125 mm in some parts, to coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and some areas of south Tamil Nadu on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Several areas in Chennai have been waterlogged due to the showers affecting traffic, train movement. Around 10 flights were delayed. Suburban train services have been affected due to waterlogging of the tracks.