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TN: Army and Air Force join relief and rescue operation as incessant rain create flood like situation in southern districts

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The Tamilnadu Government has set up special teams to carry out relief measures as the rains have reduced. More than 40 lakh people have been affected by historic floods after 1871.

In a letter to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief Minister M.K.Stalin has appealed for more helicopters so that maximum number of helicopters can be deployed immediately to attend to the alarming situation. The Chief Minister is expected to discuss the situation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight.

According to the Southern Railway, 417 stranded passengers were taken from Srivaikuntam to Reddiarpatti to check their health parameters. Two railway doctors along with other paramedics rendered medical help. They will be taken to Vanchi Maniyachi station for further travel which is 50 kms away.

With the rains giving a break today and also with the prediction of light to moderate rains for another 24 hours, people living in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts are grappling with the reality. Despite involving four helicopters presently from Airforce, Navy, and Coast Guard, the enormity of the disaster is large. Huge number of habitations need to be covered for rescue and relief distribution.

In the situation where Railway stations have been flooded, vehicles and houses have been swept away or submerged in water, there is a cry for rescue and relief. Rescue boats are taking several sorties to take those who are in the floods to the shelters. People are waiting for the flood waters to recede or be pumped out and have clean water and food. Streets have become streams and many people lamented that never did they expect such a disaster when it caught them blindfolded in spite of the prediction of heavy rains. 

The Indian Army in a release said that the Southern Command of Indian Army reached out to the flooded district of Tuticorin and assisted over 150 people including a pregnant women, three infants and 19 children in bringing them to safety. Acting on the request of the State Government, the Army has said that the movement has been proved to be difficult with roads being washed away and several areas remained cut off.

One team had undertaken a rescue operation and assisted over 400 people to shelter and other team is approaching Srivaikuntam where the train is still stranded. Another two columns of the Madras Regimental Centre has reached Antonyarpuram, a severely flooded palce and another column is finding an alternate route to rescue people in distress.

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