Heavy rains on Wednesday led to indefinite suspension of flight operations at the Chennai airport, cancellation of trains and the Army has been called in to rescue stranded people.
"Spoke to Jayalalithaa ji on the flood situation in parts of Tamil Nadu. Assured all possible support and cooperation in this unfortunate hour," the Prime Minister tweeted.
The non-stop downpour since Monday evening led to flooded runways which forced airport authorities to cancel all the flights while trains were either stopped or diverted because of overflowing water over tracks.
Sensing the crisis, the government has started releasing 20,000 cubic-feet per second of water from Chembarambakkam reservoir into Adyar.
This is the highest volume of outflow from the reservoir in the recent history. On 17 November, a day after the city received over 25 cm of rainfall, 18,000 cusecs of water was released from the reservoir.
Chennai collector E Sundaravalli has issued flood warning and appealed to the families living along the Adyar River to move to safer places.
Twelve trains leaving Chennai Egmore were cancelled on Tuesday due to water overflowing on railway tracks between Villupuram and Tambaram section. Also, 11 trains were diverted. Almost all the suburban train services are at standstill.
The Grand Trunk Road (GST Road), leading to Kanyakumari from Chennai, has been cut off from the rest of the city due to hip-deep water in Tamabaram, Pallavaram area due to breach in the nearby lake.
Those who embarked at Meenambakkam airport had a harrowing time as traffic was hit due to flooding in the streets.
Between morning and noon on Tuesday, the city received more than 8 cm of rainfall, officials said. Kattuppakkam and Chembarambakkam, the suburbs in Chennai, received more than 10 cm rainfall by Tuesday evening, the highest in the city.
A holiday has been declared for Wednesday for educational institutes in the districts that have been experiencing heavy downpour.
Chennai recorded 1049.3 mm of rainfall on Monday. Chennai had recorded 1088.4 mm in November 1918, which still holds the record for the wettest month in the century.
Chennai will continue to receive a few spells of rain or thundershowers, heavy at times for two more days. The Meteorological department expects a decrease in rainfall from Thursday.