A red alert for heavy rainfall has been issued for five districts of Tamil Nadu by the weather department and schools and colleges have been closed in 22 districts after several areas were flooded, officials said today.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted 'heavy to extremely very heavy rainfall' in Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Ramanathapuram, Pudukottai and Nagapattinam districts of the state.
Incessant rains in the state have caused widespread damage to crops, buildings and roads and led to waterlogging and flooding in several areas till now.
Following successive spells of rainfall since last month, a holiday has been declared for schools and colleges in 22 districts including Thoothukudi, Kanniyakumari, Tirunelveli, Cuddalore, Tiruvarur, Tenkasi and Villupuram.
A holiday has also been declared for educational institutions in Puducherry and Karaikal.
Thoothukudi city in Tamil Nadu received 25.9cm of rain till 5:30am this morning while Karaikal in Puducherry received 11.9cm of rain.
Water entered several houses in Thoothukudi, causing a flood-like situation.
Officials are bracing for waterlogging, severe crop damages, uprooting of trees, damage to cattle and increase in water levels in the rivers and lakes following the heavy rainfall warning.
Crops spread over more than 50,000 hectares have been battered by heavy rain in Tamil Nadu till now which received 68 per cent more than average downpour this monsoon season.
More than 2,300 homes have been damaged due to the heavy rain which has been pounding the state since October. Two thirds of the state got flooded as the rain peaked with two successive spells in the second week of November.
A central team completed a visit to assess the damage as the state has sought a 2,600-crore relief.
Water from neighbouring states has also compounded the crisis in Tamil Nadu as heavy discharge from neighboring Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh impacted several areas in the state.