Updated December 19th, 2023 at 15:11 IST

Tamil Nadu Rains LIVE: Mud slide in Theni district puts traffic to a halt

Chennai Rains LIVE: Stay with Republic for the latest on record-breaking rains in several Tamil Nadu districts including Chennai and Kanyakumari.

Reported by: Digital Desk
As per reports, rescue teams and equipment were dispatched to affected Southern Tamil Nadu districts for aid.
Chennai Rains: As per reports, rescue teams and equipment were dispatched to affected Southern Tamil Nadu districts for aid. | Image:PTI/representative

Chennai Rains LIVE: Heavy rainfall continues to batter Chennai and the adjoining districts of Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Kanyakumari, and Ramanathapuram in Southern Tamil Nadu. Emergency services have been pressed to evacuate people in the low-lying areas while cautionary warnings to move to the nearest relief camps have been issued. Tamil Nadu has declared a complete shutdown of schools and colleges in affected districts. IMD has issued alerts in four districts after a record-breaking 932 mm of rain in almost 24 hours. A red alert was issued in Madurai, Virudhanagar and Theni while an orange alert was in place in Thoothukudi, Kanyakumari, Coimbatore, Dindigul, Tirupur and Sivagangai. There's a forecast of more unprecedented rain due to the cyclonic circulation over the Indian Ocean and Southwest Bay of Bengal off the southern Sri Lanka coast. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a flood warning along the banks of the Thamirabarani River. 


Chennai Rains LIVE: Districts in southern Tamil Nadu to be impacted

Since the early hours of Sunday, December 17, the districts of Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Kanyakumari, and Ramanathapuram have been grappling with incessant rainfall. This flood has severely disrupted normal life in these regions, with Tuticorin and Tenkasi bearing the brunt of the incessant downpours.

  • Indian army rescues 26 women, 10 children from Vasaipuram: Owing to incessant rains in Tamil Nadu, the Indian Army’s Relief Column was activated at Vasaipuram, Tamil Nadu today. Till 9:30 pm, 17 Ladies and 13 others including children were evacuated by the first column. The second column evacuated 12 women including one pregnant woman, 6 children including an infant and 12 others. Simultaneously, 26 women, 10 children and 28 others were evacuated by the third column.
  • Mud slide in Theni district puts traffic to a halt: Due to the continuous rains that is lashing the southern part of the Tamil Nadu, major flooding is being witnessed in several districts. Particularly the districts that fall near the Western ghats are the ones that are facing massive destruction. The Cyclonic circulation that is bringing incessant rains to the southern districts have been pouring down for over 18 hours straight that has now led to a couple of mud slides in the mountains of Theni district. In the Bodi Mettu roads that lead up the western ghats and connect the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu have witnessed mud slides in two hair pin bends. The hair pin bend no 9 and bend no 11 have completely been filled with debris that has slides down and the area between the two bends which is the hair pin bend no 10 is completely stranded.
  • In the Bodi Mettu roads that lead up the western ghats and connect the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu have witnessed mud slides in two hair pin bends. The hair pin bend no 9 and bend no 11 have completely been filled with debris that has slides down and the area between the two bends which is the hair pin bend no 10 is completely stranded. 
  • According to Kurangani Police, “The work to clear the debris from the roads and help the vehicles travel is underway but since the rains have not stopped and there is water that is getting logged on the roads the work is slowing down, and we are facing difficulties as more mud is sliding down. Yet we hope to clear it at the earliest and ensure people are safe”. 
  • Video of house collapsing due to rains goes viral: A user on X posted a video of a house collapsing due to incessant rainfall in parts of the state. According to the user, the purported video is from Nellai.

This looks really scary… A fully built house falling apart coz of rains. Hope the rescue work is planned and safety of the people is ensured. Don’t take it easy how it happened in Chennai. @CMOTamilnadu @mkstalin @arivalayam #NellaiFloods #Nellai_Rain

— Vasanth Lakshman (@VasanthLakshman) December 18, 2023


  • Evacuation process underway: On relief & rescue measures taken by the government, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena says, “People require essential commodities in advance, so in case of need immediately, we should reach out to the people and provide relief. So adequate progressionary measures were taken. We also announced, to the people to move to safer places from the banks of the river. We have started the evacuation process and opened relief centres for the people. So adequate preventive measures were taken by the government and the the relief and rescue operations continued by the state on a war footing. This is an unprecedented situation."
  • Stalin approaches PM Modi for a meeting regarding Chennai rains: Due to the incessant rains that has caused flooding in several areas of 4 districts, Chief minister MK Stalin has requested time from the Prime Minister’s Office to schedule a meeting with PM Narendra Modi to discuss regarding the situation in Tamil Nadu. The time has been sought for tomorrow to schedule a meeting in New Delhi on an urgent basis. Notably, a flood warning has been issued by the IMD to a few more districts in the upcoming days and the massive destruction caused by Cyclone Michaugn in Chennai and other northern districts of Tamil Nadu.
  • Red alert persists for several Tamil Nadu districts for next 24 hours: “For next 24 hours, 'Red' alert to continue for Tenkasi, Thoothukudi, Tiruvaneli and Kanyakumari districts,” said S Balachandran, Director of Chennai Regional Meteorological Centre.
  • Emergency response efforts: In response to this alarming situation, as per reports, a joint effort involving National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, fire and rescue personnel, and an array of emergency equipment has been mobilised. Eight teams, comprising over 200 NDRF personnel, are en route to the affected districts of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Kanyakumari, and Tenkasi. Additionally, a contingent of 1000 fire and rescue personnel has been deployed to these districts, equipped with 67 fire engines and 43 boats strategically stationed for swift rescue operations.
  • Flood alerts and evacuation: Specific areas, including Maruthur, Srivaikundam, and the stretch from Kaliyavur to Punnakkayal, have been issued flood warnings. According to reports, residents in these locales have been ‘urgently’ advised to relocate to the nearest relief camps established by the state government for their safety.
  • IMD forecast and precautionary measures: The IMD's forecast predicts persistent heavy rains in several districts, notably Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Ramanathapuram, Pudukottai, and Thanjavur on December 18. Furthermore, on December 19, heavy rainfall is expected to persist in Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, and Ramanathapuram, accompanied by thunderstorms and lightning in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Karaikal. Cyclonic winds have been forecasted over the eastern coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and the Gulf of Mannar, intensifying the urgency of preparedness measures. IMD has also issued an orange update for heavy rainfall in these regions.
  • Safety measures for fishermen: According to ANI, as a precautionary measure, fishermen from Nagapattinam have refrained from venturing into the sea, safeguarding their boats and fishing equipment along the shore. Over 650 boats and 3,300 fibre boats have been secured in more than 25 Fishermen's Hamlet villages. In Chennai, the sky is expected to remain cloudy with the possibility of moderate rain in certain areas over the next 24 hours. Consequently, fishermen in the vicinity have been advised against sea voyages during this period.
  • Schools closed in four districts amid heavy rainfall: Additionally, according to sources, schools have also been closed in the four districts amid heavy rainfall. State authorities remain on high alert, actively monitoring the situation while urging residents to exercise caution and adhere to safety directives amid this turbulent weather.
  • Rising water levels in Vaigai river dam prompt flood warnings in five districts: As per Sources, due to incessant rainfall, the Vaigai river dam has experienced a significant surge in incoming water levels, escalating from 4000 cusecs to 19,000 cusecs. Despite releasing 3000 cusecs, the Public Works Department (PWD) cautioned low-lying areas along the riverbanks due to the possibility of additional discharges owing to the continuous downpour. Consequently, flood warnings have been issued for five districts—Dindigul, Theni, Madurai, Sivagangai, and Ramanathapuram—as a precautionary measure against potential flooding.
  • Heavy rainfall prompts train and flight cancellations in southern Tamil Nadu: Amid heavy rainfall warnings from IMD in southern Tamil Nadu, several trains and flights have been cancelled in Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Tenkasi and Kanyakumari districts. A public holiday has been declared for schools, colleges, banks and private organisations as a precautionary measure. Chief Minister M K Stalin instructed ministers and senior bureaucrats for relief and rescue operations, with a senior bureaucrat assigned to monitor each affected district. Seventeen trains including the Vande Bharat train to and from Tirunelveli have been partially or fully cancelled. Furthermore, Tuticorin-bound flights have been diverted or cancelled.

    (With inputs from Varshini Ramu)

Published December 18th, 2023 at 14:34 IST

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