Southern India flooding closes airport, cuts off power

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Southern India flooding closes airport, cuts off power
A man carries a dog and wades through a flooded street in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the airport in the state capital Chennai to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo)
People wade through a flooded road in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the Chennai airport in southern India to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo)
A Hindu temple is partially submerged in flood waters of an over-flowing Adyar River in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the Chennai airport in southern India to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo)
Rescuers try to evacuate a man stranded in the floods by an over-flowing Adyar River in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the Chennai airport in southern India to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo)
A man runs through a bridge across an over-flowing Adyar River in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the Chennai airport in southern India to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo)
A woman and children are rescued on a boat from a flooded Kotturpuram area in Chennai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the Chennai airport in southern India to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday.( R Senthil Kumar/ Press Trust of India via AP)
People stand on top of houses surrounded by flood waters in Kotturpuram area during heavy rains in Chennai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the Chennai airport in southern India to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday.( R Senthil Kumar/ Press Trust of India via AP)
Trains stand stranded at a railway station near flooded tracks in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the airport in the state capital Chennai to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo)
A boy wades through a flooded street in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the airport in the state capital Chennai to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo)
People stand in an under-construction metro rail bridge and watch the rising Adyar River in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the airport in the state capital Chennai to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. The threat of the river overflowing its banks has led to fears the flooding could worsen.(AP Photo)
Indians stand on the terrace of residential buildings waiting for food and relief material, with the Adyar River in the foreground, in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the airport in the state capital Chennai to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. The threat of the river overflowing its banks has led to fears the flooding could worsen.(AP Photo)
Rescue workers carry food in a boat to distribute to people trapped in a flooded residential area in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the airport in the state capital Chennai to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo)
A man leads an elderly woman past a flooded street in a residential area in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the airport in the state capital Chennai to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo)
People wade through a flooded road in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the Chennai airport in southern India to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo)
Auto rickshaws and other vehicles are submerged in flood waters in Kotturpuram area during heavy rains in Chennai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the Chennai airport in southern India to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday.( R Senthil Kumar/ Press Trust of India via AP)
Residents stranded due to flood are supplied food at Kotturpuram area in Chennai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the Chennai airport in southern India to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday.( R Senthil Kumar/ Press Trust of India via AP)
Stranded commuters wait at a railway station after most of trains were suspended following heavy rains in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the airport in the state capital Chennai to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo)
A boy carries a child and wades through a flooded street in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the airport in the state capital Chennai to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo)
people wade through a flooded street in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the airport in the state capital Chennai to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo)
People wade through a flooded street in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Weeks of torrential rains have forced the airport in the state capital Chennai to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo)
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NEW DELHI (AP) — Weeks of torrential rains have forced an airport in southern India to close and have cut off several roads and highways, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded in their homes, government officials said Wednesday.

Junior Home Minister Kiren Rijiju told reporters that the annual winter monsoon rains in Tamil Nadu state have been the heaviest the region has seen in decades. Army and naval rescue teams have joined several teams of National Disaster Response Force to help evacuate residents stranded in low-lying areas.

The airport in the state capital of Chennai was closed earlier on Wednesday, and television channels reported that most main roads in the city were blocked by several feet of water and that power supplies had been cut.

People could be seen wading in waist-deep water in several parts of Chennai. In several of the city's taller buildings, all the ground floor apartments have been flooded, forcing people to seek shelter with their neighbors.

The state has seen heavy rains for two weeks, and while the deluge slowed down to a drizzle Wednesday morning, the meteorological department has predicted more heavy rain over the next two days.

The rains have resulted in levels of the Adyar river, which runs through the city before draining into the Bay of Bengal, rising to a danger mark. The threat of the river overflowing its banks has led to fears the flooding could worsen.

The flooding has cut off several sections of the East Coast Road, a major highway that connects Chennai to adjoining Pondicherry.

Social Media Videos Show Extreme Chennai Weather
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