17 die in wall collapse; rains continue to pound TN

At least 15 people, including 10 women and two children, died after three houses collapsed at a village near Mettupalayam in Coimbatore. (DH Photo)

At least 17 people, including 10 women and two children, died after a compound wall collapsed on a row of three hours at a village near Mettupalayam in Coimbatore district on Monday morning due to heavy rains that have been lashing Tamil Nadu since Saturday.

Rains continued across the state on Monday even as reservoirs filled up fast and storage level in lakes that supply drinking water to this metropolis increased significantly. A flood alert was issued in several parts of Erode district as River Bhawani was at its spate even as thousands of people were evacuated from their houses and moved to safety in Cuddalore district.

The situation may not improve till at least Tuesday as the Meteorological department has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall for coastal districts. Schools in seven districts – Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur, Ramanathapuram, Cuddalore and Thoothukudi – remained closed on Monday due to torrential rains.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also dispatched two teams to Mettupalayam and Coonoor for rescue operations. Rescue operation to pull out others trapped inside the debris continued till the time of filing this story. District Collector K Rajamani feared that the death toll could increase as many are still trapped inside the debris.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami condoled the loss of lives while announcing ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the kin of the deceased in the Mettupalayam incident. He is also expected to visit the village on Tuesday to meet the families of the victims.

Chennai also witnessed overnight rains resulting in waterlogging in most parts of the city. This led to traffic snarls on major roads causing inconvenience to officegoers and common people.

Meanwhile, a flood alert has been issued to people living on the banks of river Bhavani in this western district of Tamil Nadu as a dam built across it has attained its full capacity.

The water level in the Lower Bhavani Project reservoir reached its maximum of 105 feet and the storage crossed 32 tmc feet against maximum of 32.8 tmc ft, prompting the Public Works Department authorities to more than triple discharge from 3,500 cusecs to 11,950 cusecs on Monday morning.


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