Heavy rain lashes southern Tamil Nadu; Residents near rivers cautioned to exercise safety measures.

Heavy rain lashes southern Tamil Nadu; Residents near rivers cautioned to exercise safety measures.

Residents near major rivers in affected districts including Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Thoothukudi, and Kanniyakumari are cautioned to exercise vigilance, as an increased volume of water may be released.

Heavy rainfall battered the southern regions of Tamil Nadu, including Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Thoothukudi, and Kanniyakumari districts on Sunday. Authorities announced plans to release additional water from dams as the Papanasam and Manimuthar dams in Tirunelveli reached 80% and 45% capacity, respectively.

The surge in water levels resulted from a flash flood triggered by intense rainfall in the catchment area. The Tirunelveli district administration issued a warning to residents near the Thamirabarani riverbanks to stay away from the water body.

To ensure safety and accommodate potential night rainfall, the district administration announced a gradual increase in water release from the Papanasam and Servalaru dams to 30,000 cusecs by 3-4 pm. Residents were advised to contact the district disaster management control room and the State control room for assistance.

Numerous areas in Tirunelveli city and rural regions faced flooding and waterlogged streets. The Regional Meteorological Centre in Chennai had previously forecasted extremely heavy rainfall in these districts.

According to reports from the regional centre and Tirunelveli’s disaster management department, Naalumukku in the Manjolai Hills recorded the highest rainfall in Tamil Nadu at 190mm. Other locations experiencing heavy rainfall included Oothu (169mm), Kakkachi (152mm), and Manjolai (135mm) in the Western Ghats.

Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital was affected by floodwaters, prompting the administration to address the situation. Various streets in Tirunelveli city, Chettikulam village, and Anuvijay township were flooded. Relief shelters were arranged in Bell School and a marriage hall in the Melapalayam area.

In Thoothukudi district, Srivaikundam, Tiruchendur, and Sathankulam areas received heavy rainfall, with Sathankulam recording 207mm from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm on Sunday. Kanniyakumari also witnessed rainwater inundation in low-lying areas, leading to the rescue of residents in Nagercoil by fire and rescue services personnel. More than 4,000 cusecs of water were discharged from the Pechiparai and Perunchani dams, causing road submersion and suspension of bus services in certain parts of the district.

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