CHENNAI: A team of central government officials will visit the southern districts of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday to evaluate the extent of damage caused by the heavy rains and floods that claimed 10 lives and displaced thousands of people. The state government said that Chief Minister MK Stalin, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday and sought Rs 2,000 crore as interim relief, postponed his visit to the affected areas to Thursday due to the arrival of the central team.
The four districts of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Kanyakumari, and Tenkasi witnessed record-breaking rainfall on December 17 and 18, resulting in widespread inundation, landslides, and crop loss. Kayalpattinam, a coastal town in Thoothukudi district, recorded the highest rainfall of 1,192 mm in two days, followed by Tiruchendur with 916 mm. Several rivers, dams, and reservoirs overflowed, submerging roads, bridges, and houses.
Various agencies of the central and state governments, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, National Disaster Response Force, and State Disaster Response Forces, are involved in the rescue and relief operations. They are using 323 boats and nine helicopters to evacuate stranded people and distribute relief materials. The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the deceased and Rs 25,000 each to the injured.
The Southern Railway canceled 19 trains on Wednesday due to waterlogging on the tracks in the affected districts. However, the rail traffic resumed after the Tirunelveli yard was cleared for train movement. The local administrations in the worst-hit districts of Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi are working to restore the supply of essential commodities, such as drinking water, food, and medicines, to the people. The power supply, which was disrupted in many areas due to the floods, is expected to be fully restored in a day or two.