Normal life was thrown out of gear in the city and several parts of Tamil Nadu as heavy rains lashed the state for the fourth successive day today, claiming at least 28 lives.
As the 'deep depression' over south-west Bay of Bengal has intensified further, the weather office has forcast rainfall at many places in the state with heavy to very heavy rain at few places during the next 24 hours.
The city will receive intermittent rains, heavy and very heavy at some places during the same period. The surface winds will be strong and gusty at times, the weather office warned.
A special bulletin said the deep depression lay centered over southwards Bay of Bengal, about 50 km south-east of Vedaranyam this morning. It will intensify further and move in a north-westerly direction across Tamil Nadu coast near Vedaranyam within a few hours from now.
Thanks to depression, the city and several parts of the state, especially the coastal districts were experiencing heavy rains since last evening, disrupting normal life.
All the lakes, dams and canals were filling up fast. The district administration has been put on high alert to prevent any untoward incidents.
The district collectors have asked the Public Works and Revenue departments staff to be on round-the-clock alert to meet any eventuality.
People residing in low-lying areas were evacuated to safer places.
The city received 98 mm of rainfall since last night and this was enough to disrupt normal life. Even arterial roads like Anna Salai and Kamarajar Salai could not escape the rain fury as they became inundated hitting vehicular traffic movements.
Many low-lying areas in the city, including T Nagar, West Mambalam, Velachery and Perambur were inundated.
The rains delayed arrival of at least 20 domestic and international flights last night as the ruway was flooded. Arrival of trains from southern districts were also delayed.
The rains badly hit the coastal districts as choppy seas threw up huge waves damaging more than 100 boats in Ramanathapuram. The rain also caused widespread inundation of paddy crops in the delta districts. In Nagapattinam, paddy crops in 20,000 hectares were submerged, according to initial reports. Standing crops raised in more than one lakh hecatres in Thanjavur district also faced the danger of submerging.
Fishermen have been asked to stay ashore as cyclone warning flag No 3 has been hoisted at Pamban and Cuddalore ports.
A report from Cuddalore said the Veeranam lake was filling up fast. Since the water level has to be maintained at 45 feet against the capacity of 47 feet, the authorities were releasing 3,500 cusecs of water from the lake.
With the Thambara Bhavani getting flooded and posing a threat to Tuticorin and Nellai districts, water was being released from the Srivaikundam dam.
As there was no respite from rains, the Tamil Nadu government declared holiday for schools and colleges in all most all the districts in the state.
The Anna University. and other engineering institutes have postponed the exams schedule for today.