Southern Tamil Nadu Floods After Heavy Rain; NDRF Teams Deployed To Rescue People

Thoothukudi experienced severe waterlogging amid persistent heavy rainfall, resulting in challenging conditions and reports of flooding in various parts of the district.


Wall of Korampallam pond breaks due to heavy rainfall in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu.

Heavy rains of unprecedented intensity wreaked havoc in southern Tamil Nadu, submerging paddy fields, roads, and bridges. The districts of Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, and Tenkasi are grappling with severe flooding, prompting an extraordinary response from the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena, addressing reporters on Monday, announced the requisition of military services, with 84 boats deployed for extensive rescue and relief operations. As a measure to cope with the crisis, the government declared December 18 a public holiday in the affected districts.

Additional boats have been mobilized for specific regions, including Thoothukudi, Srivaikundam, and Kayalpattinam. Evacuation efforts have successfully relocated 7,500 people to 84 relief camps, supported by SMS alerts sent to 62 lakh individuals through the Common Alert Protocol.


NDRF, State Disaster Response Force, Fire and Rescue Service, and police teams worked tirelessly to evacuate people from heavily inundated areas, providing shelter in schools and marriage halls.

The Southern Railway reported the suspension of traffic in the Tirunelveli-Tiruchendur section, with washed-out ballast and hanging tracks submerged in water. Train services in the southern regions have faced cancellations, partial suspensions, and diversions.

A crucial link road to Madurai near Ottapidaram was severed, and the Pazahayaru river's surge submerged paddy fields in Kanyakumari district, reaching a water level surpassing 4 feet. Residential colonies, including Meenakshi Garden and Railway Colony in Nagercoil, witnessed extensive inundation. Swift evacuation efforts by fire and rescue, along with disaster response force personnel, were crucial in assisting stranded residents during this challenging period.


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.

Anticipating heavy rainfall, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Kanyakumari, and Tenkasi districts in Tamil Nadu, along with Virudhunagar district, have declared a holiday on Monday for all schools, colleges, private institutions, banks, and financial institutions.

Flights heading to Tuticorin have either been diverted or cancelled and a total of seventeen trains, including the Vande Bharat train to and from Tirunelveli, have experienced partial or complete cancellations.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has pointed out the potential for isolated heavy rainfall in south Tamil Nadu, south Kerala, and Lakshadweep on December 18, with a notable chance of isolated very heavy rainfall specifically in south Tamil Nadu on Monday.

Thoothukudi experienced severe waterlogging amid persistent heavy rainfall, resulting in challenging conditions and reports of flooding in various parts of the district.

Chief Minister M K Stalin took proactive measures in response to the challenging situation, deploying ministers and senior bureaucrats to lead relief and rescue operations.

Each affected district is being closely monitored by a senior bureaucrat. Mr. Stalin also directed District Collectors to ensure preparedness by establishing relief centers and having boats ready in vulnerable areas, urging early evacuation if necessary.

Two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, consisting of 50 members each, have been dispatched to Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts. Additionally, three State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams have been deployed in Kanyakumari district. The affected regions have seen the deployment of 4,000 police personnel to aid in the relief efforts.


A stern advisory has been issued to fishermen, urging them to refrain from venturing into the sea during high windspeed, ranging from 40 to 55 km.

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.

On Sunday, heavy rains lashed Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Tenkasi districts. Some regions recorded very heavy rainfall. Since Saturday, light to moderate rainfall was recorded at most places of southern Tamil Nadu.