At least 15 people were killed after a compound wall collapsed in Mettupalayam, Coimbatore, in Tamil Nadu, following incessant rains in the region on Monday morning. Rescue operations are underway. The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each for the kin of deceased.
Heavy rains are likely to lash several parts of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry in the next two days. A red alert has been sounded for six districts in Tamil Nadu. Prior to Monday's incident, five people were killed in the last few days due to rain-related incidents.
"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.
A flood alert was also sounded by the revenue and disaster management to the villagers of the Sankarabarani river in Puducherry on Sunday, owing to the release of water from the Veedur dam, around 50 km from the area.
In the wake of the incessant rainfall, schools and colleges across Tamil Nadu have been declared shut on Monday. Examinations in the Madras University and Anna University have also been postponed.
Situation in Chennai
The state capital, Chennai, has received 51 cm of rainfall since the onset of monsoon this season, which is 9 cm less when compared to normal 60 cm received during this season. However, several low-lying areas in the city - Madipakkam, Velachery, Perungudi, Neelankari - were inundated on Sunday.
A 49-year-old man died after falling in a 6-7 feet deep stormwater drain on Sunday night in Chennai's Ambattur, reported Times of India.
City Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan told reporters that he has taken stock of the situation and the all the departments have been alerted following the heavy rains. "Five teams from the State Disaster Relief Force have been kept on standby and teams from the National Disaster Relief Force, if required, may also join," he said.
The state government has also set up 176 relief camps in Chennai. Chennai corporation has assured that all necessary steps are being taken, including boats being kept ready to evacuate people if required. Six hundred and thirty water pumps have also been arranged for, to remove water-logging in low-lying areas. Six tree-clearing machines have been kept ready as well.
What is leading to heavy rainfall?
According to the weather office, cyclonic circulation near Comorin on the Indian Ocean across Tamil Nadu coast has led to the incessant rains.