Manatees to the rescue? Cities offer ideas to solve Chennai's flooding problem


After suffering its worst floods for a century, the Indian city of Chennai is consulting cities all over the world – from New Orleans to Jakarta – about the ambitious projects that could reduce their risk of flood devastation

When the floods came last December, the city of Chennai and its surrounding districts in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu were caught cold. Amid dramatic scenes of flooded streets and devastated homes, 347 people died across the state and damage valued at more than 20,000 crore rupees ($3bn) was sustained – with Chennai the largest city affected.

The highest level of rainfall for 100 years, together with clogged and shrunken river mouths, encroachments on river banks, blocked natural drainage pathways and a lack of early flood-warning systems all contributed to the drowning of this coastal city.

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