A red alert has been issued in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu on Saturday by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), which has warned of isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall.
Schools and colleges have been closed in 23 districts of Tamil Nadu following incessant downpours over the last 24 hours, which has led to severe waterlogging and flooding in several areas.
According to an official order, educational institutions in Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, Kallakurichi, Tuticorin, Nellai, Ramanathapuram, Pudukottai, Tanjore, Thiruvarur, Nagai, Cuddalore, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Trichy, Villupuram, Salem, Thiruvannamalai, Vellore, Ranipettai and Kanchipuram districts will remain closed on Saturday.
Warning of heavy to very heavy rain at isolated places has been sounded in Chennai, Tiruvalluvar, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Ramanathapuram, Karikal, Nagapattinam, Pudukkottai, Mayiladuthurai and Puducherry.
The weather department has warned fishermen against venturing into the sea due to “squally weather with wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph” likely to occur over “Comorin area, south coastal Tamil Nadu and southwest Bay of Bengal”.
Thunderstorm with light to moderate rain over the next three hours has been forecast in Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram,Tiruvallur, Villupuram, Salem, Dharmapuri, Tiruvannamalai, Kallakurichi, Perambalur, Cuddalore, Vellore, Ranipet and Tirupattur districts and Puducherry.
Officials are bracing for waterlogging, severe crop damages, uprooting of trees, damage to cattle and an increase in water levels in the rivers and lakes following the heavy rainfall warning.
Meanwhile, Chennai and the neighbouring districts of Tiruvalluvar, Kanchipuram, and Chengalpattu have received 56 to 67 percent more than the average downpour this monsoon season.
The IMD has also predicted isolated very heavy rainfall on the southern coast of Andhra Pradesh, including the Rayalaseema region and Yanam in East Godavari district on November 27 and November 28.
The power supply was disrupted in parts of Chennai city due to waterlogging. Electricity has been temporarily snapped in Bazullah Road, part of Usman Road, Giriappa Road, parts of Perumbakkam, Aziz Nagar and KK Nagar.
The weather agency said that a cyclonic circulation lies over the Comorin area and adjoining Sri Lanka coasts and strong northeasterly winds are prevailing over the Tamil Nadu coast and south coastal Andhra Pradesh at lower levels.
It further said that a fresh low-pressure area is likely to form over the south Andaman Sea around November 29. “It is likely to become more marked and move west-northwestwards in during subsequent 48 hours,” the IMD said in its forecast on Friday.