Updated December 19th, 2023 at 13:24 IST

IAF's Special Forces rescue and airlift pregnant women and baby to Madurai as flood crisis persists

The IAF's Garud forces heroically airlifted a pregnant woman and a 1.5-year-old baby to Madurai amid intensified rescue operations in rain-hit Tamil Nadu.

Reported by: Digital Desk
IAF’s special forces rescue pregnant woman & baby as flood-crisis persists | Image:Indian Air Force

Chennai Rains: IAF helicopters successfully evacuated four passengers, including a pregnant woman and a 1.5-year-old baby, airlifting them safely to Madurai, Defence officials stated on December 19. 

Visuals captured the heroic efforts of the IAF's Garud special forces, ensuring the safety of the child among other rescued individuals amid the intensified rescue operations across the southern districts of Tamil Nadu.The Indian Air Force (IAF) had mobilised helicopters for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) missions in Tamil Nadu following unprecedented rainfall in the last 24 hours.


IAF and defence personnel lead heroic rescue efforts amid southern Tamil Nadu flood crisis

Also, Utilising MI17V5 helicopters, defence personnel initiated the rescue of stranded train passengers in flood-affected southern Tamil Nadu. At Srivaikuntam railway station, a helicopter lowered ropes and necessary equipment to facilitate the evacuation of several passengers, including a young boy.

Confirming the commencement of rescue operations, a Southern Railway official affirmed to PTI about the ongoing efforts to rescue passengers stranded due to the floods. Furthermore, food packets air-dropped by an IAF chopper were distributed to passengers by Railway Protection Force personnel.


Arrangements have been made, including  buses to transport passengers to the Vanchi Maniyachi railway station, situated 38 km away from Srivaikuntam. A special train operation to Chennai from Vanchi Maniyachchi station has also been scheduled to help in the rescue of approximately 800 stranded passengers at Srivaikuntam, near Thoothukudi and Tiruchendur. 

Southern Tamil Nadu,  grappling with continuous heavy rainfall, has faced extensive flooding, disrupting normal life in districts like Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Kanyakumari, and Tenkasi. The Indian armed forces, including the Air Force, Army, and Navy, alongside the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), have mobilised large scale rescue missions, prioritising the evacuation of vulnerable groups - women, children, and the elderly - from inundated areas in districts where a red alert was issued by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).


State Goverment urges for concerted efforts

Amid the crisis, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, through a video conference, directed party members to actively participate in relief work. In coordination efforts, Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi organised a meeting involving central agencies and armed forces to ensure effective relief measures are provided to those stuck with urgency.


The intensity of what the people are dealing with was highlighted by the IMD's red alert, prompting the Tamil Nadu government to declare a holiday for educational institutions and financial establishments in affected districts, prioritising the safety of residents. Notably, Kanyakumari faced severe waterlogging and flood-like situations, prompting Chief Secretary Meena to request aid from the armed forces.


Published December 19th, 2023 at 13:20 IST