Pregnant woman, infant airlifted from building amid Thoothukudi floods

The woman, Anusuya, along with her infant, husband, and mother waited for three days without food and water to be rescued from the terrace of their relative’s house.
Pregnant woman being airlifted by the Indian Air Force.
Pregnant woman being airlifted by the Indian Air Force.
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A pregnant woman who was showing signs of labour was airlifted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday, December 19 from the terrace of a relative’s house at Srivaikuntam town in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district. The woman, Anusuya, was stranded at the house since December 16 along with her infant, mother, and husband, after heavy rains left the area inundated with flood water. The family had taken shelter at the house due to the rising water levels on the roads, which caused them to halt their trip to the hospital after Anusuya began to experience contractions.

Sethulakshmi, Anusuya’s mother, told the media that her niece’s house in Srivaikuntam was on the second floor of the building, which made them think it would be better to take shelter there since the roads were unsafe. “But eventually the water levels rose and we had to move to the terrace of the building where we waited with our umbrellas for help. We were stranded there without food, milk, or water with my pregnant daughter and her one-and-a-half year old child for three days. We were holding onto our lives and were waiting to be rescued,” she said.

On the morning of December 19, the family spotted a helicopter and immediately signalled to them. “We wrote on a paper that we needed help to go to a hospital. The helicopter first went around the area but they circled back to us and eventually airlifted all four of us,” she added. 

Visuals of Anusuya being airlifted first, followed by her family have been making rounds on social media platforms. 

The helicopter landed in Madurai from where an ambulance took Anusuya to Government Rajaji Hospital. Anusuya has been admitted but she is doing fine, Sethulakshmi said. 

Four districts in southern Tamil Nadu including Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi and Kanyakumai, received heavy to very heavy rainfall between December 17 and December 18. Thoothukudi recorded 37.96 cm of rainfall in 24 hours. Tamil Nadu’s Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management KKSSR Ramachandran said that Srivaikuntam, from where Anusuya was airlifted, received up to 62.1 cm rainfall. Rescue operations are being carried out across Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli districts, which have been adversely affected by floods caused by rains.

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