Following four days of heavy rains, many areas of Kanyakumari district witnessed severe inundation and flooding. According to a statement by the Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority (TNDSMA), Perunchani and Puthan dams both received 220 mm of rainfall, while Suralacode received 140 mm and Kannimar received 100 mm.
Hundreds of people have been shifted to relief camps as canals and dams overflowed inundating paddy fields and homes.Tamil Naduâ€™s Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management KKSSR Ramachandran said that apart from the heavy rainfall, housing encroachments in paddy fields is one of the reasons for the severe flooding witnessed in the district.
Overflow from the Perunchani dam broke through from a canal at Kutriyani, leading to inundation of paddy fields and homes in the area. Waters of both Nadan Kulam near Erachakulam and Periya Kulam near Senbagaramanputhur broke their banks, leading to flooding in neighbouring villages. Canals in Peyankuzhi and Villukuri villages also overflowed causing flooding on railway tracks at Nullivilai for three kilometres.
Water had been released from Peruchani dam and Pechiparai reservoir, causing inundation of many villages like Nanjil Nagar and Kothai. Both the Thamirabarani and Pazhayar rivers overflowed and flooded villages nearby. Fire department and disaster relief personnel have been deployed in rescuing people from their homes.
KKSSR Ramachandran told the media that housing encroachments in paddy fields and high rainfall are the reasons for flooding witnessed in many places. Ramachandran, along with Rural Development Minister KR Periyakaruppan and Minister for Information Technology T Mano Thangaraj surveyed affected areas in Kanyakumari district.
The ministers, along with District Collector M Arvind and Secretary for the Department of Commercial Taxes and Deeds Jothi Nirmala and other officials visited a relief camp in Vellamadam school, as well as flooded areas in Periya Kulam in Thovalai, Peyankuzhi and other areas.
Addressing a press meet, Ramanchandran said that houses had come up on irrigational lands and paddy fields. The encroachments have happened illegally, leading to the grim situation in the district during the heavy rains from the last few days, he said.
Those who have been moved to relief camps have said that more than relief and aid, they want the government to come up with a long-term solution to rain-related problems.
Speaking to TNM, Kanyakumari District Collector M Arvind said that 65 relief camps have been set up where 3,150 people are receiving shelter and food.
â€śThe situation is improving now. We can see a marked difference in the inundation levels in many places. We expect the situation to improve in the next two days. If it does not rain anymore, things should go back to normal by Tuesday morning. Rescue operations are still going on in select places, but mostly the water is beginning to drain away,â€ť he said. He also said that 12,000 cusecs of water had been released from the dams, and that low-lying areas near the canals that carry the outflow have been among the worst affected.