Wall collapse from heavy rains kills 17 in India's Tamil Nadu

Schools and colleges shut in several areas as the country's met department predicts heavy rainfall in the coming days.

    Weather officials in the main city of Chennai issued a red alert in six Tamil Nadu districts and warned fishermen against going to the sea due to cyclonic storms [File: Babu/Reuters]
    Weather officials in the main city of Chennai issued a red alert in six Tamil Nadu districts and warned fishermen against going to the sea due to cyclonic storms [File: Babu/Reuters]

    At least 17 people from four families were buried alive in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu when heavy rains caused a large wall to collapse on their homes while they were sleeping, police said on Monday.

    The dead included two children in Nadur village in Thanjavur district, which was pounded by torrential rain, a police official told AFP news agency.

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    The 20 feet (6 metres) high wall crumbled at around 5:30am (00:00 GMT) some 50km (30 miles) north of Coimbatore, the Times of India newspaper reported.

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    Efforts were on to rescue the trapped people and clear the debris from the compound wall, which fell on houses close by, a senior police officer told Reuters news agency.

    India saw its wettest monsoon in a quarter of a century, with the rainy season lasting longer this year, triggering floods and killing hundreds of people.

    The monsoon's withdrawal, which begins in early October and is the main source of rain for the southeastern states, was delayed.

    Weather officials in the main city of Chennai issued a red alert in six Tamil Nadu districts on Sunday and warned fishermen against going to the sea due to cyclonic storms.

    According to the India Today website, Chennai's Madras University and Anna University postponed all their examinations scheduled for Monday due to the continuous rains over the past few days.

    SOURCE: News agencies