Wall collapse claims 15 lives in Tamil Nadu's Mettupalayam; flood alert in Erode as heavy rains continue to lash state

  • The collapse of a compound wall claimed 15 lives in Tamil Nadu's Mettupalayam district on Monday morning, as heavy rains continued to lash the state

  • The deaths come two days after a 49-year-old man died at Chennai's Ambattur on Saturday night after he accidentally fell into a stormwater drain

  • Several parts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have been lashed by North East Monsoon rains in the past few days

The collapse of a compound wall claimed 15 lives in Tamil Nadu's Mettupalayam district on Monday morning, as heavy rains continued to lash the state, ANI reported. Rescue operations are now underway after the wall collapse damaged three houses in Nadoor Kannappan Layout in Mettupalayam.

Rescue personnel retrieved nine bodies, police told PTI.

The deaths come two days after a 49-year-old man died at Chennai's Ambattur on Saturday night after he accidentally fell into a stormwater drain. Firemen rushed to the scene and pulled the body out, PTI reported.

The Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services, however, said it was fully prepared to deal with any flood-related issues and announced landline phone numbers for the public. In a press release, the department said it has adequate manpower, equipment like inflatable rubber boats, long rescue ropes, other tools and vehicles to render assistance and help rescue and evacuate who are affected by floods.

There are 331 fire and rescue stations located in Tamil Nadu and in each district, 22 rescue commandos are positioned with proper equipment, the release said. "People can contact the Fire and Rescue services at 101 at all the district headquarters, including Greater Chennai corporation areas. For Greater Chennai Corporation, the landline numbers are 044-28554309, 28554311, 28554314,28554376," the release said.

Meanwhile, a flood alert has been issued to people living on the banks of river Bhavani as a dam built across it has overflowed in the wake of continuous rainfall in catchment areas in the hilly Nilgiris district and Mettupalayam in neighbouring Coimbatore district. The water level in the Lower Bhavani Project reservoir reached its maximum of 105 feet and the storage crossed 32 tmc feet against the maximum of 32.8 tmc ft, prompting the Public Works Department authorities to more than triple discharge from 3,500 cusecs to 11,950 cusecs on Monday morning.

Schools and colleges in Tiruvallur Thoothukudi and Ramanathapuram and schools in Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Cuddalore and Chennai are shut on Monday, according to ANI. Schools and colleges are also shut in Puducherry in view of heavy rainfall forecast in the area.

Several parts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have been lashed by North East Monsoon rains in the past few days. The meteorological department predicted more showers until Tuesday.

Director of area cyclone-warning Centre, Regional Meteorological Centre, N Puviarasan told reporters that the presence of upper air circulation caused heavy to very heavy rains.

"In the last 24 hours ending 8.30 am on Sunday, Sathankulam in Tuticorin district recorded a maximum of 19 cm of rainfall followed by Cuddalore 17 cm, Tirunelveli 15 cm, Kancheepuram 13 cm, " he told reporters on Sunday.

"Ramanathapuram, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Vellore, Tiruvallur, Thiruvannamalai districts may receive very heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours," he said on Sunday. For Chennai and its surrounding areas, he said light to moderate rainfall may occur over the next two days.

Chennai Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan said all the departments have been alerted to take stock of the situation in a coordinated manner. "Five teams from the State Disaster Relief Force have been kept on standby and teams from the National Disaster Relief Force, if required, may also join in," he said.

Reports from the southern districts said rains hit normal life by affecting rail and vehicular traffic and submerging crops. In some places, residents have been moved to safe ground as houses were marooned, officials said. Vehicular traffic in Tiruchendur and Tuticorin was affected. Kovai Express and Pearl City Express were stopped at Melur as the tracks got submerged.

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Updated Date: Dec 02, 2019 10:41:03 IST