Chennai: The worst rain in a century continued to pound Chennai on Wednesday, virtually turning the city into an island as road and rail links were destroyed and the airport shut till Sunday.

In the flood hit northern part of Tamil Nadu, the situation has improved slightly with the scale of rain coming down since yesterday. Power supply has been restored in most parts of Chennai. Water has started receding from many areas of the city. However, the suburban west Tambaram areas are still submerged under water.

Thousands were rendered homeless as the city, which received 49 cm of rain, and Chembarambakkam, where the reservoir discharged about 25,000 cusecs of excess water into the Adyar river, received 47 cm of rain in the last 24 hours.

Flood waters reached till the second floor of the Housing Board colonies on the banks of the Adyar river as people reached rooftops looking for rescue and relief in several parts of the city and suburbs.

style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">The death toll in the rains that have lashed the city and other parts of state has gone up to 197, officials said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who spoke to Chief Minister J Jayalalitha on Monday night and promised all assistance, held discussions with his Cabinet colleagues in the morning to take stock of the situation.

The National Crisis Management Committee, headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, reviewed the situation and assured the state of all support.

Adding to the worry of the citizens and the administration, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast rainfall over the next three days. The next 48 hours will be very crucial, under the influence of a trough of low pressure and upper air circulation over the southwest Bay of Bengal and the Sri Lankan coast.

“The phenomenon will continue for the next seven days, but the next 48 hours are very crucial. Neighbouring states will also see rainfall activity,” said IMD Director-General, L S Rathore.

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