Heavy rains drown parts of southern Tamil Nadu leaving people in peril, SOS calls on the rise

Tirunelveli Collector Dr K P Karthikeyan instructed the health officials to bring the pregnant women, due for delivery in the coming days, to the health facilities.
People rescue an elderly man from a flooded area during heavy rain, in Kanyakumari district, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023. (PTI Photo)
People rescue an elderly man from a flooded area during heavy rain, in Kanyakumari district, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023. (PTI Photo)

TIRUNELVELI/ KANYAKUMARI/ TENKASI: As heavy rains continue to lash southern districts of Tamil Nadu, several tanks have breached across Tirunelveli and Tenkasi districts resulting in floods in farm fields and residential units. 

Normal life remains affected in southern districts for the second consecutive day on Monday. Record rainfall has been reported in parts of Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Tenkasi districts ending 24 hours on Monday morning.

One person was reported dead in Kulavanikarpuram in Tirunelveli after his house collapsed due to heavy rains. His body has been recovered and sent for postmortem. The Thamirabarani river in Tirunelveli is in spate following heavy rains. The corporation staff supplied food and milk to people affected by rains in the city. The corporation has provided five more helpline numbers to help people affected by floods. The numbers are: 8428840830, 9894098763, 9566898151, 9043918270 and 9788231124.

SOS messages have been sent via social media to the Thoothukudi district collector seeking rescue teams to evacuate people as the situation is getting worse.

In a message posted on platform X, he said: "More rains expected for the entire day in Thoothukudi, Nellai & Thenkasi districts. Other nearby districts, Ramanathpuram, Kanyakumari, Theni, Madurai, Virudhunagar too would get rains."

"The rains won't be as heavy as yesterday but still extreme rains are possible," he added.

Tirunelveli Collector Dr K P Karthikeyan instructed the health officials to bring the pregnant women, due for delivery in the coming days, to the health facilities.

In a statement on his X handle, Karthikeyan said that 696 pregnant women have their delivery dates in the next 30 days. “The officials began contacting them on Sunday itself and brought 24 women whose delivery date is due in a week to the various hospitals,” he added.

He and the monitoring officer R Selvaraj also inspected the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital where the flood water entered the ground floor of a building. 

Meanwhile, the heavy rain caused a breach in the Melapattam tank in Tirunelveli district Thottiyankulam of Alangulam town and the Kandapatti tank of Maruthamuthur village in Tenkasi district. 

The heavy rain damaged houses in Seethaparpanallur village of Tirunelveli and Vasudevanallur town in Tenkasi where the flood water entered many houses in Karumpuliyoothu village.

The residents of low-lying areas in Tirunelveli city were shifted to various relief camps. The people including children who were accommodated in Sindupoonthurai CSI School and Mohammed Ali Street behind the Town Kaatchi Mandapam suffered without milk, water and food.

Residents in Karuppanthurai Kamarajar Street and Ammankovil Street, Junction Udaiyarpatti, CN Village Veera Ragava Colony, Hema Compound near PVT theatre, Kailasapuram Keezha Street, Town Karachi Mandapam and Abirami Nagar demanded them to be rescued on Monday morning. Fire and rescue services department and corporation officials said they were sending the teams to each spot.

In 22 hours, from 8.30 am on Sunday to 6.30 am on Monday, the Tirunelveli district received 36cm average rainfall.

However, the rainfall data from Manjolai Hills was not added to the rainfall report as the communication to the hilly area was hit due to heavy rain.

Moolaikaraipatti and Palayamkottai recorded 61 cm and 44cm of rainfall respectively in 22 hours, according to the data shared by the disaster management department.

The water level in Papanasam and Manimuthar dams reached 89.56 % and 83.10 % of their maximum capacity. The water release from Papanasam stood at 32,000 cusecs and Manimuthar at 10,000 cusecs in the morning. 

For the last 24 hours till today 6 am,118.74 millimetres (mm) of average rainfall was recorded Kanniyakumari, Mylaudy received 303.2 mm of rainfall, the highest in the Nagercoil and Kottaram received more than 180 mm of rain.

As the dams are brimming, more than 10 thousand cusecs water was being discharged from the Pechiparai and Perunchani dams. As Thamirabarani and other rivers swelled, people living on the banks were evacuated and kept at shelters.

Officials said around 500 people are in the temporary shelters at Ezhudesam and other places. District Collector PN Sridhar inspected the water flowing Kuzhithurai bridge near Thamirabarani.

In Thoothukudi, 42.5 cm of rain in Sattankulam and 60.6 cm in Thiruchendur from 8.30 am on Sunday to 4.30 am on Monday. There is no power supply in many places. The entire Thoothukudi corporation and many parts of districts have been flooded.

Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu and Revenue and Disaster Management Department Minister KKSSR Ramachandran met the media persons and said that the State government were well prepared to handle any situation and advised the residents to keep away from the water bodies.

In these circumstances, the IMD predicted that moderate to heavy rain is likely to come in a few places of Virudhunagar, Madurai and Theni districts on Monday whereas moderate rain in isolated places of Thoothukudi and Dindigul districts and light to moderate rain in isolated places of Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Kanniyakumari, Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga districts.

(With inputs from Online Desk)

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