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Rains, floods kill 269 in Tamil Nadu: Rajnath

The heaviest rainfall in more than 100 years has devastated swathes of Tamil Nadu, killing 269 with thousands forced to leave their submerged homes and schools and offices shut.

While the downpour eased early Thursday, the Indian Meteorological Department has predicted more heavy rain in several parts of the state through the rest of the week.

Separately, news reports say flood waters released from a lake on the outskirts of state capital Chennai have inundated more neighbourhoods.

An aerial view of Chennai shows low lying neighbourhoods as well the city’s airport almost completely submerged. The Airport Authority of India says the airport is likely to be closed until Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday flew to Chennai to take stock of the situation.

“Leaving for Chennai to take stock of the situation arising due to the devastating floods,” Modi tweeted before starting for Tamil Nadu.

The Centre has described the situation in Chennai as “worrisome”. Home Minister Rajnath Singh told Lok Sabha that 40 per cent of telephone and mobile connections were not working in the state.

For the first time in over 40 years, water has risen rapidly on the Adyar river breaching the road and the Maraimalai Adigal bridge in Saidapet. Water has cut off the arterial Anna Salai Road, rendering it out of bounds for motorists.