Rains, flooding bring southern TN to its knees


PTI, Dec 18, 2023, 11:53 AM IST

Image credit: PTI

Chennai: Paddy fields, roads and bridges were submerged and many residential colonies came under sheets of water in several regions of southern Tamil Nadu as heavy rains, unprecedented in recent times wreaked havoc in Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Tenkasi districts of the state.

The rains and flooding are unprecedented and the services of the Army, Navy and the Air Force have been requisitioned, Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena told reporters on Monday, adding 84 boats have been deployed for rescue and relief initiatives. The government has declared December 18 a public holiday in the four districts.

Additional boats have been mobilised for regions such as Thoothukudi and nearby towns of Srivaikundam and Kayalpattinam. As many as 7,500 people were evacuated and housed in 84 relief camps.

Through the Common Alert Protocol, SMS alerts were sent to 62 lakh people. NDRF and State Disaster Response Force personnel, Fire and Rescue Service and police teams evacuated people from heavily inundated localities and housed them in schools and marriage halls.

Southern Railway said traffic has been suspended in the Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur section, between Srivaikuntam and Seydunganallur, as ‘the ballast’ has been washed away and the track is ‘hanging’ and water is flowing over the railway tracks.

Several train services operated via the southern regions have been fully cancelled, some partially suspended and some trains have been diverted.

A link road to Madurai near Ottapidaram was completely cut off. Water level crossed 4-feet at Ozhuginacheri in Kanyakumari district submerging paddy fields as the Pazahayaru river is in spate.

Residential colonies such as Meenakshi Garden and Railway Colony in Nagercoil were among the residential colonies that have witnessed heavy inundation. Stranded people were swiftly evacuated by fire and rescue and disaster response force personnel.

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