Heavy rains ravage southern Tamil Nadu, triggering floods, landslides

The downpour, attributed to a cyclonic circulation, has led to the flooding of several areas, causing distress among the local population.

| Updated: 18 December, 2023 3:11 pm IST
Heavy rainfall continued to lash several districts of Tamil Nadu

NEW DELHI: In a recent onslaught of relentless rainfall since Saturday, southern districts of Tamil Nadu, including Kanniyakumari, are grappling with severe inundation. The downpour, attributed to a cyclonic circulation, has led to the flooding of several areas, causing distress among the local population.

 

Responding to the escalating situation, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has taken proactive measures. Given the surging Thamirabarani river in Tirunelveli, CM Stalin directed authorities to release excess water into the Kannadian channel—a strategic move under a river-linking project in southern Tamil Nadu. The initiative aims to conduct a dry run, addressing the impact of the ongoing deluge.

 

 

The Vaigai dam, witnessing a substantial inflow of 17,391 cusecs, raised concerns as the water level steadily increased to 66.67 feet (against a capacity of 71 feet). The first flood warning was issued to five districts—Theni, Dindigul, Madurai, Sivaganga, and Ramanathapuram—signalling the potential threat.

 

The Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) highlighted the presence of a cyclonic circulation over the Comorin area, extending up to mid-tropospheric levels. On Monday, the southern districts experienced heavy rains, with some areas recording exceptionally high rainfall. Since Saturday, most places in southern Tamil Nadu have witnessed light to moderate rainfall.

 

ALSO READ: IMD issues Orange alert for heavy rainfall in 7 states

 

In response to the weather crisis, Virudhunagar and schools in Theni district have declared holidays. Unfortunately, the calamity claimed the life of a 75-year-old man, Veluchamy, as a wall collapsed in Ramanathapuram district.

 

This recent bout of heavy rainfall follows the aftermath of Cyclone Michaung, compounding the challenges faced by Tamil Nadu. With the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing a ‘heavy rain alert’ for the state for the next seven days, the situation remains precarious.

 

The state government, led by Chief Minister MK Stalin, has initiated relief efforts by deploying officials to the rain-hit districts. The affected regions, including Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Kanyakumari, and Tenkasi, are under close scrutiny. Officials are monitoring the situation to prevent further damage and loss.

 

ALSO READ: Heavy rainfall warning: IMD raises orange alert for eight states

 

As the state grapples with the unfolding crisis, people are postponing travel plans to Chennai due to rumours of impending heavy rain. Kayalpattinam in Thoothukudi has recorded an unprecedented 932 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours, surpassing its annual average in a single day and marking the second-highest rainfall in history.

 

Efforts are underway to address landslides in Ooty, while flash floods have been reported in various locations in Thoothukudi. Relief camps have been set up across districts, with 19 in Tirunelveli, four in Kanyakumari, two in Thoothukudi, and one in Tenkasi, to aid those affected by the torrential rains.

 

 

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