More than 2,500 people have been evacuated in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu following heavy rains over the last 24 hours. Five people have lost their lives so far and two additional NDRF teams have been dispatched to aid one already in the area in ongoing search-and-rescue efforts.
"The evacuations are largely from the catchment areas of Avalanche and Gudalur. We've sought for more teams from NDRF. Revenue Minister Udhaya Kumar is already here overseeing relief and rescue operations," District Collector J Innocent Divya told NDTV.
The additional NDRF teams are expected to reach the affected areas later today, according to Rekha Nambiar, senior commandant NDRF Arakkonam.
Among the dead are four women, two of whom died in flash floods, and a 65-year-old man who died after a wall collapse. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami has announced compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of the dead.
"A total of 491 people, including personnel from NDRF, SDRF and the Army have been deployed in relief activities. 1704 persons affected due to floods and landslides have been sheltered in 28 relief centres and were being provided with food, drinking water and other amenities," he said in his statement.
He added that 36 medical teams, including mobile units, and 30 ambulances had been deployed.
Landslips have taken place at several places in the district. Two other uninhabited areas suffered landslides. Power supply has been disrupted and is still unavailable in two taluks of the district - Gudalur and Avalanche . Rains have also uprooted trees and damaged roads.
Authorities have expressed concern that continuing heavy rain could lead to landslides causing hardship to people.
According to a report by news agency PTI, the state government has also requested the Air Force to be on standby to aid in rescue efforts.
The Nilgiris district received a record 91 centimetres of rains over the last 24 hours; it has received 171.7 centimetres since Sunday.
The MET office has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall for the district over the next five days. Similar forecasts are in effect for Coimbatore and Theni districts.
The heavy rains come as some relief for a state that experienced unprecedented water scarcity this summer.