Tamil Nadu

Southern TN gets heavy rainfall, flash floods in Courtallam

Rains have been especially heavy this year, PWD officials said | Photo Credit: G. Karthikeyan
Special Correspondent MADURAI 17 October 2021 15:19 IST
Updated: 17 October 2021 15:19 IST

Rain gauges show 1,092 mm received in October so far, three times the amount received this time last year; fishermen in some coastal districts have been asked to stay away from the sea

Over the last 24 hours, ending 6 a.m. on Sunday, many rain gauge stations in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu have recorded ‘heavy’ rainfall while two stations, including Papanasam in Tirunelveli district had ‘extremely heavy’ rainfall, Public Works Department officials said.

The rainfall in 2021, till October 17, has been heavy, when compared with 2020 and 2019, across the southern districts, comprising Theni, Dindigul, Madurai, Virudhunagar, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga, Tenkasi, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Kanniyakumari.

Officials said the Papanasam dam in Tirunelveli district had water upto 131.30 feet (maximum level 143 ft), while it was 108.30 ft in 2020 and 106.30 ft in 2019. The Manimuthar reservoir had water levels of 74.50 ft (maximum level 118 ft) now, while it was 73.80 ft in 2020 and 44.20 ft in 2019.


The rainfall from various rain gauge stations including Papanasam, Manimuthar and Ambasamudram among others, showed that there was a total of 1,092.80 mm of rainfall received in October 2021, while it was 348.50 mm in October 2020 and 486.90 mm in October 2019 in Tirunelveli district. The data clearly showed that the rainfall pattern had been very heavy this year, officials said.

In neighbouring Kanniyakumari district, continuous rainfall over the last four days had resulted in many dams getting steady inflow. Low-lying areas in the district witnessed inundation and according to the Fisheries Department, fishermen have been instructed to stay off the sea in the coastal pockets including Kanniyakumari, Thoothukudi and Rameswaram until a further update from the Indian Metrological Department.

In Dindigul district, the water level in Manjalar dam stood at 54.60 ft (57 ft maximum level) and Sothuparai dam had 100 feet (126.28 ft maximum level). Many pockets including Kodaikanal, Vedasandur, Oddanchatram in the district witnessed widespread rainfall.

In Theni district, PWD officials said that the Periyar dam had 131.30 ft (permissible level 142 ft). The reservoir received 7,815 cusecs as inflow and discharge was at 1,300 cusecs. The Vaigai dam had 55.68 ft (71 ft maximim level) with 1,265 cusecs inflow and 1,119 cusecs discharge. The Periyar dam area had 170 mm rainfall, the highest in the recent times, in the last 24 hours, while Thekkadi had 126.6 mm.

Courtallam out of bounds

Following the rains, major waterfalls including Courtallam (Main falls, Five Falls) in Tenkasi district and Chinna Suruli in Theni district, among others experienced flash floods.

As the State government has not yet permitted tourists inside these falls due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the locations wore a deserted look. As a precautionary measure, police and Forest Department personnel were on duty.

A senior Forest official in the southern districts said that the Department has deployed more staff members in the waterfalls situated in forest areas cautioning visitors not to step in.