In a major rain-related incident in Tamil Nadu, at least 17 people, including ten women and two children, were killed when a wall collapsed on a row of houses at a village in Coimbatore's Mettupalayam on Monday, police said.
The 15-foot tall private compound wall, totally wet due to heavy rains lashing the area for the past few days, fell on the adjoining tiled-roof houses in Nadur village around 5 am, burying alive the inmates who were in their sleep.
Heavy rains have lashed many parts of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry since Sunday with the North-East monsoon triggering a heavy spell in the last 24 hours.
The rains claimed one life in the state capital on Sunday, even as the Met Office predicted more showers in the next two days.
Examinations of Madras University and Anna University scheduled for tomorrow have been postponed in view of heavy rainfall forecast in the area.
A holiday has also been declared for tomorrow in schools in Puducherry due to the same reason.
Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority said, "Holiday has been declared for tomorrow in schools and colleges in Tiruvallur, Thoothukudi and Ramanathapuram. Holiday declared for schools in Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Cuddalore and Chennai."
Meanwhile, RB Udhayakumar, Minister for Disaster Management, said that about 800 people from low lying areas in Cuddalore district have been evacuated after heavy rains.
In the wake of incessant rainfall over the last few days across the state, the Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services on Sunday 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.
A flood alert has been issued to people living on the banks of river Bhavani in Erode district of Tamil Nadu as a dam built across it has become surplus in the wake of copious rains in catchment areas, officials said on Monday.
The water level in the Lower Bhavani Project reservoir reached its maximum of 105 feet and the storage crossed 32 tmc feet against maximum of 32.8 tmc ft, prompting the Public Works Department authorities to more than triple the discharge from 3,500 cusecs to 11,950 cusecs on Monday morning.
There are 331 fire and rescue stations located in Tamil Nadu and in each district, 22 rescue commandoes 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.
(With inputs from agencies)