Why Chennai is flooded
The catastrophic flooding in Chennai is the result of the heaviest rain in several decades, which forced authorities to release a massive 30,000 cusecs from the Chembarambakkam reservoir into the Adyar river over two days, causing it to flood its banks and submerge neighbourhoods on both sides. It did not help that the Adyar’s stream is not very deep or wide, and its banks have been heavily encroached upon over the years. Similar flooding triggers were in action at Poondi and Puzhal reservoirs, and the Cooum river that winds its way through the city. Across Chennai, illegal construction has been making neighbourhoods unrecognisable — what may have been a tank, lake, canal or river 20 years ago, is today the site of multistorey residential and industrial structures.