TN drenched in rains; over 1000 evacuated

 A man rides a motorcycle through a waterlogged road after heavy rains, at the heritage site of Mamallapuram

Several districts in Tamil Nadu were completely drenched in rains on Sunday for the second consecutive day as the North-East Monsoon intensified across the southern state.

Five people lost their lives due to rain-related incidents across the state on Sunday, officials said, even as the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall in Chennai and other coastal districts for the next two days.

As the IMD forecast heavy rains, holiday was declared to schools in seven districts -- Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi and Kanchipuram -- on Monday. Chennai Corporation and district administrations also announced helpline numbers for people to seek help in case they get affected due to rains.

Duraikannu (70), Ravichandran (50), Poongodhai (50), Kandasamy (50) and Sheik Ali (46) died in rain-related incidents since Saturday. In Cuddalore district, more than 1,000 people living in low-lying areas have been evacuated and moved to safety.

In Chennai, the rains that began on Saturday continued through Sunday forcing residents to be indoors. Several major roads were waterlogged and people were evacuated in Varadharajapuram and other areas due to streets getting flooded.

The city and other coastal districts will receive heavy rainfall for the next two days, according to a forecast by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) released on Sunday. Rains also resulted in an increase in the capacity of several dams and reservoirs that supply drinking water to Chennai and other parts of the state.

Sathankulam in Thoothukudi district record 19 cm of rainfall in the past 24 hours ending at 8.30 am on Sunday, while Cuddalore received 17 cm, Tirunelveli (15 cm) and Kancheepuram (13 cm). Guindy in Chennai recorded 10 cm, while Alandur registered 7 cm of rainfall in the past 24 hours.

Director of area cyclone-warning Centre, Regional Meteorological Centre, N Puviyarasan told reporters said light to heavy rainfall may occur over the next 24-48 hours.

"Places like Ramanathapuram, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Vellore, Tiruvallur, Thiruvannamalai districts may receive very heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours," he said.

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