The fury of the monsoon leaves 25 dead in Tamil Nadu, 1000 people in relief camps

CHENNAI: Since November 29, up to 25 people have died in several rain-related incidents in Tamil Nadu, the state government said Monday.

This includes 17 people who died after a wall collapsed in three houses in the village of Nadur in Mettupalayam, near Coimbatore.

As the northeast monsoon intensifies in the state, almost 1,000 people have been housed in relief camps in the Tuticorin and Tirunelveli districts, which suffered the worst part of the rage of the rain.

Some low-lying areas in Chennai and the nearby districts of Chenglepet and Kancheepuram were flooded after the downpour.

Prime Minister K Palaniswami chaired a review meeting with his deputy O Panneerselvam and other colleagues in the cabinet and senior officials to assess the situation.

Issued orders to monitor deposits, many of which are full or filling quickly.

An official statement said eight people died in several rain-related incidents between November 29 and December 1.

In addition, 17 people died in a collapse of the wall in Coimbatore on Monday, which brought the total to 25.

Up to 58 head of cattle perished, while more than 1,700 houses with thatched roof and tiles were damaged.

While the government announced Rs four lakh each to the families of the 17 victims killed in Mettupalayam, Palaniswami ordered due compensation to the relatives of the deceased, according to the statement.

The monsoon had begun on October 16 with widespread rains.

Palaniswami asked officials to guarantee preparation by maintaining adequate stocks of medicines, food, diesel generators and disinfectants.

Rescue teams should be on hold with the necessary equipment to rush to the affected areas, while designated officials should monitor precautionary measures, he said, citing the prime minister.

The incessant rains in Chennai over the weekend cheered the city's water managers, as storage in the four reservoirs increased.

The combined storage in the four reservoirs: Poondi, Cholavaram, Redhills and Chembrambakkam, was 4,091 million cubic feet (mcft), double the level of the same day in 2018, which was 1,694 mcft.

The total combined capacity is 11,257 mcft.

With the forecast of more rains, water managers expect a better situation next summer, as Chennai witnessed one of its worst water crises this year after a weak monsoon in 2018.

In, a flood alert was issued to people living on the banks of the Bhavani River, as a dam built around it overflowed with heavy rains in the catchment areas.

The water level in the Lower Bhavani Project reservoir reached a maximum of 105 feet and the storage crossed 32 tmc feet against a maximum of 32.8 tmc ft, which led to the Department of Public Works (PWD) more than triple the discharge from 3,500 cusecs to 11,950 cusecs in the morning.

Consequently, income officials issued a flood alert and advised people living on the banks of the Bhavani River to move to safer places.

In the mountainous district of Nilgiris, vehicle traffic was paralyzed on the Coonoor-Mettupalayam highway after landslides in 12 places due to rain.

Traffic was diverted through Kotagiri and the affected road was closed for restoration work, particularly in Marapallam, where many trees were uprooted.

After heavy rains, the district administration declared vacations to schools in Kundah, Udhagamandalam, Kotagiri and Taluks.

Meanwhile, the regional meteorological office predicted light to moderate rain in some places over the south of Tamil Nadu and in isolated places over the north and Puducherry on Tuesday.

According to the regional meteorological office, Mettupalayam received the highest rainfall of 18 cm, followed by Coonoor (Nilgiris) and Palaviduthi (Karur) with 13 cm each.