CHENNAI, India - Widespread flooding across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has driven more than 200,000 people from their homes, shut down factories and paralyzed the airport in the state capital Chennai, government officials said on Wednesday.
The floods, caused by heavy rain over the past two weeks, swilled over the runway of the international airport in India's fourth-largest city, emergency officials said, and about 25 flights were canceled as of Wednesday morning.
Many parts of the state could see more than 41 inches (104 cm) of rain in the next 48 hours, said an official in the Indian Meteorological Department.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered the rescue teams and paramilitary forces to launch an extensive relief and rescue operation. He had earlier blamed climate change for the unseasonal rains and floods in the southern state.