CHENNAI, India (BNC) — The building of the Chennai Teacher Training School has remained safe so far although surrounded by flood waters.

Unusually heavy monsoon rains in Southwest India had flooded large areas of Chennai by the afternoon of 13 Nov. Then from 15-16 Nov., ten more inches of rain fell during a 24-hour period. Much of the city was still under water on the evening of 17 Nov. More rain is expected on the 21st.

The Chennai Teacher Training School provides education to teachers, preachers, and evangelists. Classes are taught by 15 Indian brethren in English, Tamil, and Telegu. The school offers a three-year course of study. Students have classes for six hours per day, five days a week.

Classes are also provided for women in the community and instruction in basic skills is offered to elementary school children.

Dennis and Beth Johnson, who work at the school, report that they were without electricity for four days.

Because it was known that the area was prone to flooding, the ground floor area, that is used for large gatherings, was raised five feet above street level and the building was constructed on stilts 13 feet higher than that. Since the water rose 8 feet above street level, the ground floor was flooded, but the building itself was unharmed. Travel in and out was not possible for several days.

Chembarambakkam Lake on the Adyar River above the school is completely full, so excess water must be allowed to flow on down the river. Since more heavy rain is expected on the 21st and the 23rd of November, people living along the river have been warned to move to safer places.

The metropolitan area of Chennai (formerly called Madras) has a population of nine million people.