Ooty: Efforts are under way to rescue 90 persons, including TNEB staff and their families, stranded at the hydro power station at Avalanche near here. This apart, about five tourists from Bhavani, who were staying in the forest guest house in Avalanche too, are unable to move out due to road block.
J. Innocent Divya, collector of Nilgiris, said that an Air Force helicopter was pressed into service on Friday evening to supply food to the stranded persons in Avalanche hydro power station premises.
Four persons, including two aged persons and two children were air-lifted on Friday evening. As a huge landslide between Emerald-Avalanche road made relief operations tough, chopper was being used, she added.
Likewise, a landslide of higher magnitude occurred on Thursday night at the wooded Kattukuppai area, 25-km from here, wherein also a TNEB hydro power station is housed. Disaster management teams rescued near 40 persons from the spot there on Friday afternoon.
Avalanche, 24-km off this hill town, which equaled the rainfall record for Tamil Nadu for highest rainfall on a single on Thursday, surpassed its own record by registering 911 mm of rainfall for the 24- hours ending on Friday morning by 8 am. and thus moved to the top of the ladder in TN in "rainfall record" category.
As southwest monsoon rains continues to lash the hills, its intensity came down on Friday. The National Disaster Response Force(NDRF) teams from police wing have landed in the hills here with Army men too entering the fray.
While the landslide in Kattukuppai area claimed the life of one Sanju (30), a contract labourer hailing from Palakkad, two women farmers who were washed away by the flash floods while returning home at Kuruthukuli village near here on Thursday night, were found dead on Friday morning. Two more women were reported to have died in Naduvattam area during the minor landslip there on Thursday night.
Ooty, Kundah, Gudalur and Pandalur taluks in Nilgiris bore the brunt of the torrential rains over the last three days. The landslips across the Gudalur-Calicut road crippled inter-state transport on this road on Friday, while traffic was normal in other parts of Nilgiris.
Uprooted electric poles hindered power supply to many places across the hills.
R.B. Udayakumar, minister for Revenue and Disaster Management and Information Technology, who reviewed the rain situation in the hills said that teams from NDRF, State Disaster Response Force, armed reserve police, Naxal control police wing, fire service, disaster monitoring unit, totaling for 450 personnel are being pressed into service for relief works to clear the mess created due to landslips, mud slips and uprooting of trees. Also, 66 Army Jawans from Madras Regimental Centre too joined the relief works.
He said that 155 relief camps are set up across the Nilgiris. About 1706 persons who were evacuated from the sensitive places are staying in the camps now. He added that 233 spots across the hills have been identified as flood affected areas, wherein 23 spots battered by the minor landslips and other areas were affected by the minor mud-slips, he pointed out....