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Heavy rain across Tamil Nadu for second day

By T. Ramakrishnan

CHENNAI, APRIL 5. For the second consecutive day, most parts of the State experienced heavy rain on today.

As on Monday, southern districts and central parts of the State were the major beneficiaries. Chennai and its neighbourhood, which did not receive much rain till the early hours of Tuesday, received copious showers during the day. Between 8.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m, Nungambakkam recorded 6 cm and Meenambakkam 12 cm.

The city's catchment recorded moderate to heavy rain during the corresponding period. The Chembarampakkam tank, used for supplementing the city water supply, recorded the highest rainfall of 12 cm. Chennai's two major storage points, Red Hills and Poondi, registered 6 cm each while Cholavaram, a balancing reservoir between the two, recorded 3 cm.

No cyclonic storm

Noting that a trough of low pressure persisted over the southwest bay off the coast of Tamil Nadu-Sri Lanka, the Meteorological Department said, "rain is likely to occur at many places over Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry." Sources in the department say the trough, being very close to the coast, will not develop into a cyclonic system. It may cause rain for a day more.

Rain in Kanyakumari

Almost the entire Kanyakumari district recorded heavy rain during the 24-hours that ended 8.30 a.m. Eraniel received the highest rainfall of 27 cm. Kuzhithurai, Thuckalay, Thovalai and Nagercoil registered 13 cm, 11 cm, 9 cm and 8 cm.

Ramanathapuram recorded 22 cm rain, followed by Tiruvaurur 20 cm, Paramakudi 16 cm, Ambasamudram 13 cm and Cheranmadevi 11 cm.

The rain has rekindled memories in the city residents of the spells that occurred during summer in the past.

Four years ago, in the second week of April, the city reservoirs experienced 15 cm rain. A bountiful rainfall (during summer) happened in May 1990 when the storage points recorded 31 cm. Exactly five years later, the reservoirs recorded 25 cm. Last year, in the first week of May, they experienced 23 cm.

(Among the heavy rainspells experienced by the reservoirs in "non-rainy months" were 28 cm in February 1984 and 25 cm in February 2000).

Storage up

Thanks to the rainspell on Tuesday, the combined storage of the reservoirs, catering for Chennai's water supply, went up by 70 million cubic feet (mcft).

This evening, the storage in Satyamurthi Sagar at Poondi stood at 236 mcft — 20 mcft more than what it was at 6 a.m. The Red Hills tank's storage was 1,864 mcft, an increase of 27 mcft. Chembarmpakkam had a storage of 149 mcft, a rise of 23 mcft.

As rainwater harvesting structures have been installed in almost all buildings in the city, the rainfall will have a positive impact on the city's water level and quality.

A complete picture will emerge only by the week-end, when Metrowater hydrogeologists go around the city to take readings of the groundwater levels, says an official.

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