Schools in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Tirunelveli districts remained closed on Friday after the weather department forecast heavy rain and issued a red alert for Tamil Nadu, reported The Times of India.

The India Meteorological Department has forecast heavy to very heavy rain at isolated places in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala between October 4 and October 8.

Heavy rain lashed parts of Chennai on Thursday. The city has received 5 cm of rainfall since 8.30 am on Thursday and is likely to experience light to moderate rain till Sunday. Puducherry recorded 9.5 cm rainfall during the same period.

“Highly vulnerable areas are being monitored,” NDTV quoted Tamil Nadu Relief Commissioner K Satyagopal as saying. “New storm water drains have been constructed and damaged ones have been repaired.”

Satyagopal said the Mettur reservoir in Salem district and other reservoirs are being monitored. The Public Works Department will decide whether to release water, he added. “The State Disaster Relief Fund has been strengthened and 1,275 police personnel have been trained,” he said, adding that the National Disaster Relief Forces will be called in if necessary.

According to the State Disaster Management Authority, a low pressure area is likely to form over the Southeast Arabian sea by October 5 and likely to concentrate into a depression during the subsequent 36 hours and move northwestwards. It is further likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm by October 7.

The Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority warned fishermen against going out to sea between October 5 and 7.

The Kerala State Electricity Board decided to begin controlled release of water from the Idukki dam once the water level reaches 2,388 feet, Manoramaonline reported. The dam’s maximum capacity level is 2,403 feet. Officials have already begun releasing water from the Mattupetty, Kundala and Ponmudi dams, where the water level is already above 90% of full capacity.