Seventeen persons, 12 of them women and children, died in the early hours of Monday as three adjacent tiled houses crashed following collapse of an adjacent compound wall of a private land in Nadur village in Mettupalayam on the foothills of Nilgiris, police said.
The victims were from three families, including two visiting guests. They all died in their sleep. Fire service and police personnel recovered their bodies from the debris in the morning as heavy monsoon rains lashed Mettupalayam, Coimbatore and other parts of Tamil Nadu, including Chennai.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami announced ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of the dead. The regional weather office in Chennai said Mettupalayam and two other western districts received very heavy rains while 14 districts got widespread rains. Mettupalayam got the highest rainfall of 18 cm in 24 hours ending 8.30 on Monday morning. Coonoor up the hills got 13 cm rains.
Met office Director S Balachandran told reporters that northeast monsoon was active and the State had received 11 per cent more than the average rainfall. He said the rains were likely to continue due to the presence of a trough over the Bay of Bengal and a low pressure area over the southwest Arabian Sea .
It was likely to move west-northwestwards and concentrate into a depression during the next 24 hrs and this would bring more rains for the next two days. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into sea off Cape Comorin and Lakshadweep areas as gusty winds are likely in the Arabian Sea.