Tamil Nadu woman spends a night in the middle of a river in spate, rescued later

Thanks to the copious rainfall, water level started rising rapidly in the river, leaving Ellammal marooned on a sand dune.

Published: 30th November 2020 03:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th November 2020 03:53 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

VELLORE: Not many in Tamil Nadu know that the River Koundinya flows into Vellore from Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. But, 55-yearold Ellammal knew it like the back of her hand. She and her husband Muniappan earned a living raising pigs on the riverbed.

Their simple dwelling stands by the river bank, in Ponnampatti village. The parched river bed was a good place to graze the pigs, until Thursday night when the river was reborn, thanks to cyclone Nivar. On Thursday evening, Ellammal was grazing the pigs all alone, while Muniappan had gone to fetch them some food.

Thanks to the copious rainfall, water level started rising rapidly in the river, leaving Ellammal marooned on a sand dune. It was getting dark, and water kept rising. Ellammal was right there, on a tiny dry patch, amid a gushing river. She seemed to be waiting forever, hoping her husband would fetch help. He did. The revenue department officials alerted fire and rescue personnel, but they failed to rescue her.

Then, the collector intervened and called in the National Disaster Response Force. The lighting was poor, so the team used a drone to survey the area. Locating her was the biggest challenge. Once that was done, the team swung into action. With the help of firemen, some long ropes, and an inflated boat, she was rescued. “If not for these men, I don’t know what would have happened,” says Ellammal.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp