ANI Photo | IAF deploys Dhruv helicopters for rescue operations in rain-ravaged Southern Tamil Nadu

In response to the floods in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu, the Indian Air Force has deployed Medium Lift Helicopters (MLH) and Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Dhruv for HADR (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) efforts.
The helicopters are operating from Madurai in coordination with the civil authorities for rescue and supply drops. A Mi-17 V5 helicopter of the IAF rescued 4 stranded persons in the morning today; they included a pregnant woman and an infant aged a year and a half, said authorities.
Earlier, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin urged Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to urgently deploy more helicopters for rescue and relief in Tamil Nadu’s southern districts, severely affected by unprecedented rainfall.
In a letter dated December 19, 2023, CM Stalin said, “The southern districts of Tamil Nadu have received unprecedented rainfall in the last two days. Some locations have received their highest rainfall recorded ever since 1871. Due to this, around 40 lakh people living in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts have been very badly affected. The situation is particularly extremely serious in Srivaikuntam and Tuticorin towns, due to large flooding in Thamirabarani river and adjoining areas.”
CM Stalin further said that the state government has mobilized officers, SDRF and NDRF teams to undertake rescue and relief operations.
“Relief materials are being mobilized from all over Tamil Nadu. However, these materials could not be distributed to the people since the connecting roads have been inundated. They can be reached only through helicopters,” he said.
CM Stalin further said that as of now 4 helicopters from the Air Force, 2 helicopters from the Navy and 2 helicopters from the Coast Guard were being deployed for rescue of stranded people and to drop food items for the marooned.
“Given the enormity of the disaster and the large number of habitations to be covered, we need more helicopters for rescue and relief distribution. Hence, I request your urgent intervention to deploy a maximum number of helicopters immediately,” he said.
Meanwhile, the rescue operation was completed at Nanalkadu by the Indian Army on Tuesday.
“A total of 57 women, 39 men and 15 children were evacuated. Now the column is moving to the village Padmanabhamangalam enroute to Srivaikuntam. Civil authorities have requested for assistance in Shrivaikundam. There are around 250 people stranded in this village,” Defence PRO stated

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