Chennai floods
An Indian man clings to a rope as he makes his way through floodwaters in Chennai on December 2, 2015.Getty

One of India's oldest national newspapers did not go to print for the first time in 137 years because of heavy rain and flooding in Chennai. The state of Tamil Nadu has been facing a flooding crisis over the last few weeks, with at least 188 people believed to have been killed.

The Hindu newspaper has been printed daily since 1878, however, it did not go to print on Wednesday (2 December) due to workers being unable to access the press as a result of the flooding. It is reportedly the first time that this has happened in the newspaper's long history.

"Our Maraimalainagar township was not accessible for the people who run the plant," the paper's publisher N Murali told BBC Hindi. "So none of our staff could reach the plant. It is located about 30km from the city in Maraimalainagar. The printing press plant is large so we put it up outside the city."

Murali said that even if workers had been able to access the plant and print the newspaper, it is doubtful whether they could have distributed it in the city due to the heavy flooding. Other newspapers were printed in Chennai, but it remains unclear how many readers it had reached.

Chennai has received nearly 300mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours, causing widespread destruction across the city. The Indian army has been deployed to rescue thousands of people after two days of heavy rain, while flights and trains from the city have been suspended. Around 400 people are believed to be stranded at the airport. At least 10,000 policemen and swimmers have also been deployed as part of the rescue efforts.

More rainfall expected in Chennai

According to reports, nearly 60% of the city's water supply has been suspended and thousands have been left without electricity following two days of heavy rain. Last month one week of heavy rain brought the city to a standstill. According to weather experts, "scattered to heavy" rains are expected to continue through the next three days.

Many have taken to social media to offer support to those affected by the floods, including welcoming the displaced into their homes and providing food and water. Some are also offering to top up people's cell phones if they have run out of credit. Others have shared photos and videos of the flooding scenes.