Incessant rains lashing the region under the influence of active South West Monsoon claimed two lives in hilly Nilgiris District in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday and disrupted normal life, police said.
Two men, aged 52 and 43, died when roadside trees fell on them in separate incidents at Kokkal and Fingerpost areas near the district-headquarter town of Udhagamandalam, they said.
Heavy rains have been lashing Nilgiris and parts of Coimbatore district, bordering Kerala, since the past few days, with some villages being marooned and several trees uprooted.
Avalanchi and Upper Bhavani villages in Nilgiris district recorded 39 cm and 31 cm rainfall respectively while Solayar in neighbouring Coimbatore district received 18 cm on Wednesday, the Met office said.
In view of continuing rains and strong wind, the administration has closed the Udhagamandalam-Gudalur national highway for traffic from 7 pm on Wednesday till 6 am on Thursday as a precautionary measure, District Collector Innocent Divya said in a statement.
Police said a team from the National Disaster Response Force has reached Gudalur, around 60 kms from Udhagamandalam, to rescue people from villages, which are marooned by rain waters.
Several rural areas in Coimbatore district also witnessed moderate to heavy rains for the last 24 hours, resulting in release of surplus water into Bhavani river from Pillur Dam in Mettupalayam, about 45 km from here.
With the river in spate, people living along its banks have been asked to move to safer places, officials said.
Thousands of banana plantations, which were ready for harvest, fell down due to heavy winds and rains at Chadivayal in Thondamuthur on the city outskirts, dealing a blow to the growers.
However, the district administration announced necessary compensation would be provided to them after taking proper estimates, official sources said.