Updated December 20th, 2023 at 13:03 IST

IAF helicopters in full-swing for Tamil Nadu flood relief, Defence Minister assured central aid

IAF continued to conduct relief operations as Tamil Nadu battled severe floods, aiming through joint efforts to aid affected areas.

Reported by: Digital Desk
A Mi-17V5 helicopter of the Indian Air Force sits on the tarmac ahead of its participation in the relief operation. | Image:Indian Air Force
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Chennai Rains: The Office of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has stated that IAF helicopters are actively engaged in Humanitarian Aid and relief operations in Tamil Nadu, which continues to face flood-like crises following relentless rains across the state's southern districts. Continuous rainfall has led to floods in several areas, prompting urgent rescue and relief measures. Singh has assured all possible help from the central government.

"The IAF helicopters are carrying out rescue and relief operations in the flood-affected areas of Tamil Nadu. The Central Government is providing all possible assistance to Tamil Nadu," stated the Office of Defence Minister.

IAF relief operations in full swing

The Defence PRO said, "Relief operations are continuing. Loading of food packets and other relief material provided by the State administration onto India Coast Guard ALH commenced at first light at Madurai airport on December 20, 2023.”

According to available information, the Indian Air Force (IAF) resumed operations at dawn, mobilising from Madurai and Tuticorin to deliver vital relief materials weighing over 5.5 tonnes to the affected populace. Continuous rainfall in the southern district of the state, particularly in Tirunelveli district, has resulted in a severe flood-like situation, disrupting normal life for many residents.

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Visuals depict submerged buildings following the breach of the Tamraparni River's danger mark due to showers on December 18 and 19. The situation remains critical, demanding immediate intervention to assist those stranded.

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Earlier initiatives by Indian Navy personnel involved the distribution of essential supplies at Srivaikuntam railway station in Thoothukudi. The deployment of the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) facilitated the distribution of food and relief materials, particularly aiding 500 stranded individuals at the railway station.

Southern Railways' efforts in rescuing passengers with support from IAF

Southern Railway Chief PRO B Guganesan, underlining the joint efforts, stated, “Initially, 500 passengers were stranded at Srivaikuntam Railway Station. This morning, about 6 RPF staff and 2 commercial staff from railways reached the station by road. They found an entry into the station and took some relief and food materials for the passengers. We had 3 choppers of the Indian Air Force. They dropped food and relief materials for all these passengers.”

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Further speaking about the measures undertaken by the Railways, Guganesan added, “Railways arranged 13 buses about 3 kilometres away from the station.” Additionnaly as per Southern Railways," A special train rolled out of Vanchi Maniyachi to Chennai Egmore, rescuing stranded passengers from Srivaikuntam with medical and catering teams on board," as stated by the Southern Railways.

Army's relief op in Tuticorin

Moreover, the Indian Army Column 'Madras Regimental Centre' under HQ Dakshin Bharat Area stepped in for Flood Relief Operations in Tuticorin District, delivering 550 food packets to marooned individuals in Karungulam village on December 18 and 19, as confirmed by Defence PRO Chennai.

As the havoc wreaked by heavy rainfall persists in Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, and Kanyakumari, the joint efforts of the state government and the Centre aim to facilitate a comprehensive rescue and relief operation to aid the affected population.

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Published December 20th, 2023 at 13:03 IST