Heavy rain lashes India's Tamil Nadu, Puducherry coastal areas



Heavy rains Tuesday lashed most parts of India's coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, officials said.

The rains started Monday evening and were going on incessantly.

"Heavy rains hit several districts here because of which water has accumulated in low lying areas," said a meteorological department official in Chennai, adding "the continuous downpour has hampered vehicular movement on many roads in the capital city."

According to the official, "heavy to very heavy rain" is expected in 10 coastal and adjoining districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, besides some areas in the interior.

Authorities have ordered closure of schools and colleges in the city and several other districts in wake of the warnings of heavy rain.

The meteorological office has forecast heavy rain in Chennai and "very heavy rainfall" in coastal Tamil Nadu.

Officials at Chennai Municipal Corporation have set up a helpline number and kept 450 suction pumps to drain water from inundated areas.

Authorities have also cautioned fishermen in Chennai, Ennore and many other places not to venture in the sea.

Meanwhile, rain has brought smiles on the faces of farmers in Thanjavur, who have begun cultivation on thousands of acres with the hope that the rains will help irrigate their fields.

"We are hopeful that monsoons would help grow us at least one crop this year," R Balamurthy, a farmer said.

Farmers in Tamil Nadu are facing two successive years of drought.

In January this year the local government in Tamil Nadu declared all districts of the state drought-hit following a deficit in the northeast monsoon in 2016.