Heavy monsoon rain sparks fear for India's Chennai

Indian school students cross the street under monsoon rains in Chennai Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Schools have been shut in Chennai for three days due to heavy rains

Heavy monsoon rains in the southern Indian city of Chennai (Madras) have led to fears of serious floods like those which paralysed the city and killed more than 100 people in 2015.

Schools and colleges have been shut. Waterlogged roads have led to traffic snarls across the city and flights have been delayed.

Coastal towns in the state of Tamil Nadu are also affected by the downpour.

A depression in the Bay of Bengal has triggered rains since Monday.

Some areas of the city have already flooded, and there are fears it could get worse.

BBC Weather tweeted that Chennai will see increased rainfall in the next few days.

The weather office has warned of intermittent showers, but the city's municipal commissioner D Karthikeyan said there was no need for panic.

He told the NDTV news channel that the water would soon recede, avoiding a repeat of 2015 when the city reportedly received its heaviest rainfall in more than a century.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Many areas in the city are already flooded

India's army and air force were deployed in 2015 to rescue thousands of stranded people after two days of heavy rain in Chennai.

In many areas, the power supply was halted to prevent incidents of electrocution as roads resembled rivers and pedestrian subways began filling up with water.

An official enquiry into the cause of the 2015 floods concluded that "encroachment of lakes and riverbeds played a major role in causing massive floods in Chennai".