The regional meteorological centre in Chennai on Sunday predicted more showers in the next two days and issued a red alert for six districts in Tamil Nadu while torrential rain over the past two days claimed five lives.
“Thiruvallur, Vellore, Thiruvannamalai, Thoothukkudi, Ramanathapuram and Tirunelveli districts in Tamil Nadu would receive extremely heavy rainfall (above 20cm) in the next 24 hours,” the IMD’s Chennai regional centre alerted.
In view of heavy rainfall forecast, examinations of Madras University and Anna University scheduled for Monday have been postponed.
As Chennai received 9cm rain in the past 36 hours and spells are continuing, Chennai district administration declared leave for schools and colleges on Monday. According to Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Agency, schools will be closed in Chengelpet, Thiruvallur, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukkudi, Ramanathapuram and Cuddalore districts too.
According to Puviyarasan, Director, Regional Meteorological Center (RMC) Chennai, Tamil Nadu will get heavy rainfall for the next two days.
“In the past 24 hours, Thoothukkudi’s Sathankulam town had recorded 19 cm rainfall. Cuddalore had received 17 cm, and Thirunelveli district got 16 cm of rainfall. Due to the low-pressure area near Lakshadweep storms could occur in the South-Eastern Arabian Sea. So, fishermen should not venture into the sea for the next few days,” the RMC director told reporters.
He said Tamil Nadu had received 39 cm of rainfall since October 1 during this North-East Monsoon season.
Due to the heavy rainfall Duraikkanu (70) a resident of Moonram Sethi village in Thanjavur district, Ravichandran (50) from Paravakkottai in Thiruvarur district, Poongodhai (50), a physically challenged person in Ariyalur district died on Saturday as portions of their houses collapsed.
Besides, 50-year-old Kandasamy died in Pudukkottai town when his two-wheeler crashed in heavy rain while Sheik Ali (46), a resident of Chennai Ambattur died after falling into a storm water drain Saturday night.
Following the IMD alert, the Puducherry government on Sunday ordered schools to remain shut on Monday.
The heavy rain has left several sub-urban areas of Chennai water logged. These include Shozhinganallur, Pallavaram, Tambaram, Nanmangalam and Selaiyur.
The rain has partially submerged more than 100 houses in the outskirts of Chennai. Chennai City Corporation has opened helplines for people who need assistance to drain out the water.
“We are ready to help people at any time. The corporation staffers are already on the job to drain out the water,” G Prakash, Chennai City Corporation Commissioner told the media.
Several places in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Thoothukkudi districts have also been waterlogged.
According to the locals in Cuddalore, around 5000 houses in low lying areas of the coastal town have been marooned. About 500 people from KS Pettai in Cuddalore town have been forced to take shelter in a private marriage hall.
Tamil Nadu Industries Minister M C Sampath who visited the flood-affected areas in Cuddalore district said actions have been taken for draining the water.
“Around 1000 people have been evacuated from flood-hit houses. People have been moved to temporary relief camps. Food and Medical assistance have been kept ready,” Sampath told the media.
Farmers in the delta district said that the sudden rain has inundated more than 5000 acres of the Samba (a variety of rice) crops.
“Samba crops cultivated in the tail-end of parts of Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur and Thanjavur districts have been inundated due to the heavy rain,” said S Ramadoss, Nagapattinam district president for Tamil Nadu Cauvery Farmers Association.
Opposition leader and DMK President MK Stalin urged the state government to work on a war footing to prevent damages and loss of life.
“Tamil Nadu has been receiving severe rainfall for the last few days. So all the district administrations should work on a war footing to prevent life and material loss,” he said in a tweet.
The Central government’s Water Resources department also had sent a warning to Tamil Nadu Government about increasing water levels in the state.
The water storage level in Chennai’s major reservoirs such as Chembaramkkam, Poondi Sathiyamoorthi, Redhills and Cholavaram have been increasing since Friday. These reservoirs had dried up in June last which led to severe water scarcity in Chennai.