The din of the prime minister’s international tours and the arithmetic of electoral politics back home drowned out the news of a major city receiving unusually high rainfall and many parts of it literally submerging in the excess water flowing through its streets. For over 10 days now, Tamil Nadu has been lashed by heavy rainfall resulting in flooding in many cities and towns in the state, with many parts of the state capital, Chennai coming under water.  The death toll from rain-related incidents in the state has climbed to 59.

The worst affected area, however, is Cuddalore, 180 kilometres from Chennai, which reported the highest number of deaths due to rains. 

Even though the state saw a brief respite from heavy rainfall towards the end of last week, rains resumed before the waters could recede and Chennai saw the unusual sight of boats being used to navigate the city streets. The weatherman has predicted heavy rainfall starting Monday morning for at least 24 hours raising fears of a disaster-in-waiting.

The Indian Meteorological Department on Sunday said that a low-pressure area over Bay of Bengal persisted and that “it is likely to move west-northwestwards towards Tamil Nadu coast and would concentrate into a depression during next 24 hours,” causing further rainfall. Consequently, heavy to very heavy rainfall has been predicted for most parts of Tamil Nadu for the next three days as most schools and colleges remained shut or paralysed in Chennai. 

Moreover, excess rainfall seems to have filled up Chennai water reservoirs up to the brim and the continuing downpour is forcing nearby residents to flee the areas because of the increased risk of flooding. Residents were mostly stuck at home as knee-deep to waist-deep waters flooded the streets and public transport as well as air and rail traffic was affected.

While Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has condoled the deaths and announced Rs 4 lakh each to the bereaved families as compensation, the ruling dispensation is finding it hard to control damage to life and property across the state.

Here are a few updates shared by citizens on the social media: