Chennai | Jagran News Desk: People across Tamil Nadu are unlikely to get a breather from the heavy rainfall over the next few days as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that heavy downpours would continue in the state and its neighbouring areas till November 11 due to a low-pressure area over the South Bay of Bengal. The weather department has said that the low-pressure area will convert into a depression soon, bringing widespread heavy rainfall in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry for the next couple of days.

"Thunderstorm with extremely heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over delta districts, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Pudukottai, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram and Puducherry and Karaikal. Thunderstorm with heavy to very heavy rain is likely to occur at a few places over Chennai, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari, Thenkasi, Virudhunagar, Madurai, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengalpattu districts," it warned.

"Thunderstorm with heavy rain is also likely to occur at a few places over Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Vellore, Ranipettai, Tirupattur, Tiruvannamalai, Thoothukudi, Kallakurichi and Karaikal area. Light to moderate rain is likely to occur at most places over rest districts of Tamil Nadu," it added.

Following the IMD alert, the Tamil Nadu government has declared a local holiday on Wednesday and Thursday for nine districts - Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Chengalpattu, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur and Mayiladuthurai. All schools and colleges have also been shut and fishermen are advised by the state government not to venture into the sea.

Chief Minister MK Stalin is regularly reviewing the situation in the state and has ordered that free food will be distributed through Amma Canteens until the current spell of intense rain ends. "The IMD has issued a red alert for three days in Chennai. I have reviewed the situation and ordered to provide free food and other relief measures. The ministers and officials are also visiting flood-affected areas," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The heavy rains have led to water-logging in several parts of the state, especially in Chennai. So far, five people have lost their lives. The heavy rains have also forced dams in Tamil Nadu to release surplus water. An official release has said that the "surplus rainwater continued to be released and since the Mettur Dam in Salem District has inched close to its full capacity of 120 feet, a direction has been issued to let out excess inflow".

Poondi, Puzhal, Cholavaram and Chembarambakkam lakes are the key drinking water sources for Chennai city and these are almost full in view of downpour in catchment areas. The Thervai Kandigai reservoir, also near here has touched its full level of 36.61 feet, it said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma