Chennai: Rains under the influence of north east monsoon today hit normal life in several parts of Tamil Nadu where educational institutions remained closed even as the weather office forecast heavy downpour in the next three days in the state, Puducherry and coastal Andhra Pradesh.
While there was no official toll put out by the state government, unofficial estimates placed the number of deaths due to torrential rain at 70.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Monday announced a solatium of Rs.400,000 to the families of each of the 12 persons who had lost their lives in rain-related incidents across the state.
Jayalalithaa also visited the rain-affected areas in the state capital.
In Chennai, office-goers faced a harrowing time due to water-logging and delay in train services.
Several areas, including Mylapore (South Chennai), Vysarpadi and Perambur (North Chennai) have remained inundated since yesterday due to flooding.
The city has been experiencing continuous rains since Saturday night with the spell reduced to a drizzle on Monday. India Meteorological Department has warned of heavy rains in the next three days in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Vendors push a cart on the waterlogged Marina Beach in Chennai. PTI Photo
Incessant rains continued in Nagapattinam district for the third consecutive day on Monday throwing normal life out of gear. Paddy crops in hundreds of acres remain submerged in this region.
Till 8 AM on Monday, Tarangambadi in Nagapattinam district recorded the highest rainfall of 54 mm. Other areas in the district have recorded over 45 mm of rainfall.
More than 10,000 fishermen did not venture into the sea for the fourth consecutive day due to the rough conditions.
Senior IAS officer Shivdas Meena, who has been appointed the flood monitoring officer for Nagapattinam district, toured various parts of the district along with District Collector S Pazhanisamy.
Kollidam, Thalaignayiru and Ananthamangalam areas, which have been identified as flood prone areas, are under round-the-clock vigil.
Meena told reporters 12 cyclone shelters have been kept ready to offer emergency services.
General Secretary of Federation of Farmers Associations of Delta Districts, Arupathy Kalyanam, said tender crops in the Vennar basin division in Nagapattinam district remained submerged.
"The crops are barely one-month-old. If heavy rain continues for a couple of days, the crops will begin to decay," he said.
In Sirkazhi area, sugarcane crops grown in over 350 acres have been affected while Kuruvai (short-term paddy) crops ready for harvest were inundated at Vedaranyam.
Three teams from National Disaster Response Force have been camping at Poompuhar, Kollidam and Sirkazhi to help people.
A report from Coimbatore said the first floor of an over 60-year-old building on Big Bazaar area in the city, which was lashed by heavy rains last week, collapsed today. The first floor of the building functioned as a godown of a textile merchant and the ground floor housed a fancy store.
The first floor came down around 5.30 AM and under the impact, the shop on the ground floor was partially damaged, the police said. However, there were no casualties, they said, adding the loss is yet to estimated.
Mayor P Rajkumar, local MLA Doraisamy and senior corporation and district officials visited the spot.