Three persons were killed in rain-related incidents and three more are feared dead.
Chief minister M K Stalin traveled to Delhi on Monday to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discuss plans for relief efforts.
IMD sounds red alert in 4 districts, schools shut
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a ‘Red’ alert for Tenkasi, Thoothukudi, Tiruvaneli and Kanyakumari districts.
Speaking to ANI, S Balachandran, Director of Chennai Regional Meteorological Centre said, “For the next 24 hours, ‘Red’ alert to continue for Tenkasi, Thoothukudi, Tiruvaneli and Kanyakumari districts.”
The Tamil Nadu government declared a holiday for all schools, colleges, private institutions, banks and financial institutions in Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Kanyakumari and Tenkasi districts on Monday due to heavy rainfall.
Heavy downpour alert! Chennai MeT issues ‘Red’ alert for the next 24 hours in 4 districts including Tenkasi
About 800 train passengers stranded
Due to floods, approximately 800 train passengers were stranded at Srivaikuntam in Thoothukudi district.
The passengers of a Chennai bound express train from the temple town of Tiruchendur were stranded for nearly 20 hours at Srivaikuntam, which is in the worst flood-hit region.
An official said ‘all efforts are on to rescue them’ and NDRF authorities have also been alerted. The Tiruchendur-Chennai Egmore Express (Train No 20606) departed from Tiruchendur to Chennai at 20.25 hours on December 17.
The train was, however, stopped at Srivaikuntam railway station, about 32 km away from Tiruchendur due to heavy rain and flood situation, a railway official said.
In total, 800 passengers are stranded and of them, approximately 500 are in the Srivaikuntam railway station and about 300 are in a nearby school, he added.
The passengers could not, however, venture outside as the entire area was heavily inundated.
Electricity supply halted
Ahead of the heavy rains, electricity supply was intentionally stopped. Mobile phone networks suffered disruptions in various areas, while public transportation came to a standstill, causing significant disruption to daily life.
Roads were severed in multiple parts of southern Tamil Nadu due to breached lakes and flooding. Major dams and reservoirs in the region were filled between 80 and 100 percent of their capacity.
Rescue operations persist in areas like Tirunelveli junction and Sindupoonthurai, primarily utilizing boats. In Tirunelveli district alone, approximately 36 villages have been flooded. Over 50,000 individuals in flood-affected areas received essential food supplies.
Rescue and relief operations on
Disaster response force teams and Fire and Rescue Service and police personnel are active on the field in rescue and relief operations, which includes supply of food and drinking water.
The Navy was involved in rescue operations in Tirunelveli. A helicopter from INS Parundu in Ramanathapuram rescued 17 stranded persons including two pregnant women.
Also, another team from INS Kattabomman is also involved in rescue operations and they have rescued at least 25 people.
The Coast Guard’s six disaster relief teams have been deployed for rescue and relief operations. Though rains subsided in Kanyakumari and other southern regions, there was no respite from flooding.
State Ministers including Youth Welfare Minsiter Udhayanidhi Stalin and senior officials are inspecting and coordinating relief and rescue initiatives.
Dry food materials are being taken from Air Force Station Sulur for distribution in affected areas. Food packets are set to be dropped in flood-hit areas, a Defence spokesperson said here.
For the four districts, as regards payment of electricity consumption charges, the government extended the deadline till January 2, 2024 and made it clear that there will be no fine.
(With agency inputs)
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