Chennai: A day after heavy rains pounded the southern part of Tamil Nadu, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday issued a red alert till Monday for five districts of Tamil Nadu — Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Puduokottai and Nagapattinam.
Roads and rails in the five districts were submerged, with the closure of schools and colleges announced as many residential areas and hamlets were also heavily inundated.
On Thursday, Thoothukudi recorded 25 cm of rains till the evening, with heavy rains continuing to lash the district on Friday morning. Flights were redirected to the neighbouring Tiruchirapalli airport due to poor visibility. Train services were also hit as tracks were submerged.
Rivers and streams were reported to be overflowing, with lightning and thunder reported in Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Dindugal, Ramanathapuram, Pudukottai and Nagapattinam districts.
According to IMD, heavy to very heavy rains will continue till Monday although the cyclonic circulation over the southwest Bay of Bengal is unlikely to concentrate into a low-pressure area. Flash floods were reported near the Courtallam waterfalls.
Tirunelveli and Tenkasi districts also received heavy rains, with a majority of residential areas in these districts waterlogged and several residences near the river banks damaged.
The IMD issued a yellow alert for Chennai on Friday and Saturday, predicting heavy rains till Monday, with Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts also expected to receive heavy rainfall until Sunday. The department has also warned people living in low-lying areas to be cautious. The district administrations of Chennai, Nagapattinam, Tiruchi, Tiruvarur, Vellore, Pudukottai, Virudhunagar, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Villupuram, Myladuthurai, Tiruvannamalai, Kancheepuram, Kallakuruchi and Tanjavur declared holidays for schools and colleges on Friday.