Heavy rain, floods hit southern Tamil Nadu; holiday in 4 districts

Tamil Nadu floods
Floods in southern Tamil Nadu following heavy rain. Photo: X/All India Radio News

Chennai: Heavy rain under the influence of a cyclonic circulation pounded southern Tamil Nadu on Sunday leading to floods in various parts of the region. 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. 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.

Public holiday
A public holiday was declared in Tirunelveli, Thenkashi, Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi districts. Schools, colleges, banks, private and public institutions will remain closed.

A flood warning has been issued in Theni, Madurai, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram and Dindigul districts with the rise in water level of Vaiga river. Thiruchendur municipality in Thoothukudi received more rainfall in a single day than it receives in a year. Kayalpatnam received 932 mm of rain in the last 24 hours.

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

Trains, flights cancelled
Seventeen trains including the Vande Bharat train to and from Tirunelveli are cancelled or rescheduled due to heavy rains in Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Kanyakumari and Tuticorin of Tamil Nadu. Tuticorin-bound flights have also been diverted or cancelled. Read more: Flights, trains cancelled in Tamil Nadu due to heavy rains

Arrangements in place
Chief Minister MK Stalin has deployed ministers and senior officials in the affected areas for rescue and relief work. Collectors have also been instructed to arrange boats to evacuate people and set up relief centers to accommodate them if necessary. 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.

Two NDRF teams of 50 members each have reached Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts. Three SDRF teams have been deployed in Kanyakumari district. Apart from this, 4,000 police officers have also been deployed in the affected districts.

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

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.
(With PTI inputs.)

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