Heavy rain pounds southern Tamil Nadu


PTI, Dec 17, 2023, 8:43 PM IST

Representative image

Chennai: Heavy rains under the influence of a cyclonic circulation lashed southern Tamil Nadu on Sunday, inundating several areas in districts including Kanyakumari.

Since the Thamirabarani river is in spate, Chief Minister M K Stalin directed authorities to release surplus water into the Kannadian channel, marking a dry run under a river-linking project in southern Tamil Nadu. Stalin deputed Ministers to rain-hit districts to oversee and carry out relief work.

A Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) bulletin said a cyclonic circulation is now seen over the Comorin area and its neighbourhood, extending up to mid tropospheric levels.

On Sunday, heavy rains lashed Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Tenkasi districts. Some regions recorded very heavy rainfall. Since Saturday, light to moderate rainfall was recorded at most places of southern Tamil Nadu.

Surplus water is being released from Pechiparai, Perunjani and Papanasam dams and alert messages (SMS) have been sent to over two lakh local people.

Water entered houses in low-lying areas and vehicles were stranded in view of flooding. Water logging was also reported on the premises of a couple of state-run hospitals.

Several regions in such southern districts witnessed inundation which was heavy in a string of areas and authorities declared a holiday for schools and colleges. National and State Disaster Response Force teams have been deployed.

Local authorities and police made arrangements for evacuating people from flooded and vulnerable areas to relief centres.

In the meanwhile, the government appointed four senior IAS officers to speed up relief work in the four districts and coordinate with all departments. Four other officials have also been deputed for related work.

Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena held a virtual meeting with district collectors of southern districts and tasked them to take appropriate preventive steps to tackle the situation due to rains.

An official release here said Stalin has ordered release of surplus water into the Kannadian channel which will carry flood water to arid regions in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts, benefitting farmers.

The release of surplus water is a preparatory exercise under the Thamirabarani, Karumeniyaru and Nambiyaru (in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts of Tamil Nadu) river-linking project, which is nearing completion.

On December 16, the cyclonic circulation was in the lower tropospheric levels over equatorial Indian Ocean and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal off the south Sri Lanka coast.

From 16 December morning to 17 December morning, isolated, heavy to very heavy rain was recorded in Tirunelveli district.

Also, isolated heavy rain was witnessed in Kanyakumari, Ramanathapuram, Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts. Nalumukku area in Tirunelveli district reported the highest rainfall of 19 cm during this period.

For Monday, the RMC has forecast heavy to very heavy rain at one or two places in Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Tenkasi districts and light to moderate rain at many places in south Tamil Nadu.

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