Met Dept unable to predict red alert situation: Tamil Nadu CM in letter to Amit Shah
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah stating that the Indian Meteorological Centre (IMC) failed to alert the state government about the heavy rains that lashed Chennai on Thursday.
CM Stalin wrote, "As you are aware, State Government relies substantially on alerts issued by the Indian Meteorological Centre (IMC), Chennai for gearing up the administration to handle impending disaster situations arising out of intense rainfall. A timely alert from IMC helps the State and District Administration to take up pre-emptive efforts to ensure the safety of people. We have, however, noted that IMC is unable to predict red alert situation sufficiently in advance, giving hardly any time."
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister wrote that the IMC, in a bulletin at 12 Noon on December 30, had only predicted thunderstorms with moderate rainfall at a few places over coastal Tamil Nadu and thunderstorms with moderate rain in Viluppuram, Cuddalore and Delta districts, while predicting thunderstorms with light to moderate rain in some areas of Chennai.In his letter to the Union Home Minister, CM Stalin added, "At 3.40 PM, the IMC issued a Nowcast Warning stating that thunderstorm with light to moderate rain would occur at isolated places over few districts including Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpet districts for the next 1-2 hours. Meanwhile, rains started lashing Chennai and its suburbs from the afternoon that lasted till late at night.
"At 4.15 PM, the IMC issued an Orange alert. By this time, there was high-intensity heavy downpour all over Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpet districts resulting in the inundation of many places and total disruption of traffic in the city."
The Tamil Nadu chief minister, in his letter to Amit Shah, also said that the shortcoming in the capability of IMC to provide accurate real-time rainfall forecasting on instances like this prevents the state and district administration to take up timely mobilization of an emergency management system.
This results in total disruption of normal life, movement of health care support systems and also causing loss of lives and damages to critical infrastructure, Stalin said. CM MK Stalin wrote that these types of incidents highlight the need for making additional investments in advanced weather prediction mechanisms and up-gradation of technology being used in IMCs. The chief minister of Tamil Nadu further requested the central government to do the needful to enhance the capacity of IMC, Chennai to enable it to make predictions of high alert situations earlier and notify the state Government well in time. Tamil Nadu witnessed its highest rainfall of the year on December 30, and in several places over 20 cm of rain was seen in less than 24 hours. Many places in Chennai were inundated resulting in traffic in the city coming to a standstill.