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Cyclone Nivar: Gates of Chembarambakkam Lake Opened to Release Water, Visuals Go Viral

Chembarambakkam Reservoir releases water.
(credit: Twitter)

Chembarambakkam Reservoir releases water. (credit: Twitter)

The gates of the Chembarambakkam lake were opened up earlier to let out 1,000 cusecs of water amid heavy rainfall in Chennai.

With heavy rains lashing Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and parts of the east coast since Monday night, following Cyclone Nivar, shutters of Chennai's Chembarambakkam lake opened on Wednesday. The shutters of the lake were reportedly opened after five years earlier to let out 1,000 cusecs of water amid heavy rainfall in Chennai.

The lake's capacity to hold water is till 24 feet. As per the order from the Public Works Department (PWD), the water was expected to rise till 22 feet and a rise beyond that level needed the gates to open for the safety of the residents.

The lake has been reported to be 79 per cent full and the water will be diverted to the Adyar river which has the capacity to carry 60,000 cusecs of water.

"Though it has been raining very heavily in Chennai, the catchment areas of Chembarambakkam did not receive much rainfall. Its depth now stands at 21.2 feet and we will release some water only after it reaches 22 feet," said an official from the Public Works Department to The New Indian Express.

With the gates opening, social media soon saw numerous videos of water rushing out of the catchment area while the Adyar river is flowing at a high speed through the city.

Meanwhile, the Greater Chennai Corporation sent its people to the low-lying slum areas around the river for relocation. Alandur and Valasaravakkam are the two zones under watch, reports Times of India.

Several flights were cancelled and a public holiday declared to prepare for Nivar, which is expected to intensify into a “very severe cyclonic storm” and cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram late in the evening of November 25, India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said.