Unprecedented rainfall has hit the districts of Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Tenkasi, and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, prompting the state government to seek aid from the armed forces to assist in the rescue of stranded individuals. The Chief Secretary, Shiv Das Meena, termed the situation in these districts as unparalleled due to the heavy rainfall. The government has reached out to the armed forces, including IAF choppers from Sulur airbase, to airdrop essential food supplies in the flood-affected regions.
In response to the crisis, transport services have been adjusted, with buses operating up to Kovilpatti and Virudhunagar. Normal bus services to Tirunelveli and Tuticorin will resume once the situation stabilizes. Trains have been halted in Kovilpatti and Virudhunagar, with affected passengers provided food and accommodations.
Providing updates from the state emergency operations center in Chennai, Meena reported the extreme rainfall recorded in various areas. Kayalpattinam in Tuticorin witnessed the highest rainfall of 95cm within a 24-hour period ending at 8:30 am on Monday. Other areas such as Tiruchendur (68.9cm), Srivaikuntam (62.1cm), Kovilpatti (52.5cm), and Sathankulam (47.1cm) also experienced historic levels of rainfall, resulting in severe flooding of roads and residential zones.
To conduct rescue operations, a total of 17 teams comprising 425 personnel from the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed across the affected districts. Additionally, two more NDRF teams are set to join operations in Tuticorin shortly. Utilizing the common alerting protocol system, 62 lakh SMSes were dispatched to people in affected regions. Around 7,500 individuals have been rescued so far and relocated to 82 relief camps to ensure their safety and well-being amidst this challenging situation.