20 killed in heavy rains in Tamil Nadu

November 25th, 2008 - 8:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Nov 25 (IANS) At least 20 people were killed as heavy rains continued to lash Tamil Nadu for the third day Tuesday, officials said.According to press statements from the government, the deaths occured due to house collapses, electrocution and drowning in flash floods in seven coastal districts of the state since Sunday.

Port authorities said a low pressure trough centred between India and Sri Lanka would trigger heavy rains with cyclonic winds in the central coastal districts.

Cyclone warning flags were hoisted in at least four minor ports of Tamil Nadu, said the press statments from meteorological department and port authorities.

Winds with speeds of over 70 km per hour may batter the central coast and heavy rainfall will persist till Wednesday evening, the statements added.

Schools will remain closed Wednesday in over eight districts, a state government press release said.

District administrations in Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Nagappattinam and Tiruvarur were worried that standing paddy crops may be damaged in water-logged fields resulting in losses of over Rs.300 million.

Already handicapped by 14-hour power outages, salt production in the port city of Tuticorin was further affected following flooded pans, N. Esakki Muthu, a small entrepreneur, said on phone.

“The collective losses in our district will run into several crore (tens of millions) of rupees,” Muthu told IANS.

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