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Rains and floods paralyze southern Tamil Nadu; hundreds of passengers stranded | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Unprecedented heavy rains have caused severe flooding in four districts of southern Tamil Nadu. Authorities evacuated people stranded in residential areas and transferred them to relief centers set up at places like local schools and wedding halls. Currently, more than 7,000 people have found refuge in these establishments.
Three people were killed in rain-related incidents and three others may have died.
Chief Minister MK Stalin on Monday visited Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discuss plans for relief efforts.
IMD issues red alert in 4 districts and schools closed
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a ‘red’ alert for Tenkasi, Thoothukudi, Tiruvaneli and Kanyakumari districts.
Speaking to ANI, S Balachandran, Director, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, said, “For the next 24 hours, ‘red’ alert will continue for Tenkasi, Thoothukudi, Tiruvaneli and Kanyakumari districts.
The Tamil Nadu government on Monday declared a public holiday for all schools, colleges, private institutions, banks and financial institutions in Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Kanyakumari and Tenkasi districts due to heavy rains.

Heavy showers alert! Chennai MeT issues ‘red’ alert for next 24 hours in 4 districts, including Tenkasi

Around 800 train passengers stranded
Because of floodsaround 800 train passengers were stranded at Srivaikuntam in Thoothukudi district.
Passengers on 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 being made to save them” and NDRF authorities have also been alerted. The Tiruchendur-Chennai Egmore Express (Train No. 20606) left Tiruchendur for Chennai at 8:25 p.m. on December 17.
The train, however, was stopped at Srivaikuntam station, around 32 km from Tiruchendur, due to heavy rains and floods, a railway official said.
A total of 800 passengers are stranded, including around 500 at Srivaikuntam station and around 300 at a nearby school, he added.
Passengers, however, could not venture outside as the entire area was heavily flooded.
Electricity supply is interrupted
Before the heavy rains, the electricity supply was intentionally interrupted. Mobile phone networks suffered disruptions in various areas, while public transport came to a halt, causing significant disruption to daily life.
Roads were cut in several areas of southern Tamil Nadu due to broken lakes and floods. The region’s major dams and reservoirs were filled to between 80 and 100 percent of their capacity.
Rescue operations persist in areas like Tirunelveli junction and Sindupoonthurai, mainly using boats. In Tirunelveli district alone, around 36 villages were flooded. More than 50,000 people living in flood-affected areas have received essential food supplies.
Rescue and relief operations on
Disaster response force teams, fire and rescue services and police personnel are active on the ground in rescue and relief operations, which include the provision of food and water drinkable.
The Navy participated in the rescue operations in Tirunelveli. A helicopter from INS Parundu in Ramanathapuram rescued 17 stranded people, including two pregnant women.
Besides, another team from INS Kattabomman is also involved in the rescue operations and has rescued at least 25 people.
The Coast Guard’s six disaster relief teams were deployed for rescue and relief operations. Even though the rains eased in Kanyakumari and other parts of the south, there was no respite from the floods.
State ministers, including Youth Welfare Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin, and senior officials are inspecting and coordinating relief and rescue initiatives.
Dry food is being collected from Sulur Air Base for distribution to affected areas. Food parcels are expected to be dropped in flood-affected areas, a Defense spokesperson said here.
For the four districts, regarding the payment of electricity consumption charges, the government extended the deadline until January 2, 2024 and clarified that there would be no fine.
(With contributions from the agency)

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