UPDATE: 3:05 a.m. EST -- People in Chennai, capital of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, have taken to Twitter to help people stranded in torrential rains, which have inundated the coastal city since Monday evening, BBC reported. The region has borne the brunt of heavy rains for the past several weeks and, according to some estimates, witnessed the wettest November in about 100 years.
Chennai residents announced on Twitter that they would welcome those affected by the downpour and also provide food. "If we can't offer help in this hour of crisis, then what's the worth of human life? I am feeling helpless that I can't go to the affected areas because the roads are submerged. The least I can do is to open my house to people," Pushparaj Britto, a Chennai resident, told the BBC Wednesday.
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The heavy downpour shut down various public services across the city and The Hindu, one of India’s oldest newspapers, could not make it to print Wednesday for the first time since 1878, as workers could not access the printing press because of the rains.
Torrential rainfall continued to wreak havoc Wednesday in Chennai, the capital city of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, with death toll reaching 188, according to local reports. The state government issued flood warnings in Chennai and evacuated thousands of people from the city's coastal areas.
Fresh spell of rains began in Chennai on Monday evening flooding most of the regions. Chennai has been battling rains since early November due to slow-moving low pressure over southwest Bay of Bengal. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy rains in the city for the next two days.
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The Chennai International Airport has been closed until 6 a.m., local time, Thursday (7:30 p.m. EST Wednesday), according to the Airports Authority of India, local newspaper the Times of India reported. Runways of the airport have been flooded and arriving flights have been diverted to neighboring states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
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Road transport in Chennai was affected as most of the areas were submerged in water. Rescue teams from the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the National Disaster Response Force were deployed in parts of Chennai. The Tamil Nadu government extended holidays in schools and colleges due to heavy rains and floods. The Southern Railway canceled all major train services to India's southern districts Wednesday, the Indian Express newspaper reported.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that he has contacted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
Spoke to Jayalalithaa ji on the flood situation in parts of Tamil Nadu. Assured all possible support & cooperation in this unfortunate hour.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 1, 2015
Jayalalithaa was monitoring the situation in Chennai “minute by minute,” according to her party members. "Police, Fire and Rescue, National and State Disaster Forces and the Coast Guard have been kept ready for need-based evacuation of people from flood hit regions," Jayalalithaa said, according to NDTV news network.
People who were stranded in buses, cars and rooftops due to the flood situation in the state were seeking help using social media.
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