Nearly 250 devotees, stranded atop Sathuragiri Hills, located partially in Madurai and its neighbouring Virudhunagar district, were rescued early on Sunday.
After one of the stranded victims alerted the situation with Watrap police over cellphone, the officials were aware of the situation by 8 pm on Saturday. Subsequently, rescue operations were carried out in full swing as teams comprising 150 personnel from Fire and Rescue Services, Forest Department, Anti-Naxal Force and the Department of Police from Watrap and Srivilliputhur swung into action.
Around 50 devotees stranded at those streams were rescued at 1.30 am on Sunday. Water level in those steams was up by six feet following the sudden rain. After being rescued, all the devotees were given medical care before leaving.
However, the rest of the devotees stayed safe atop the hill on the premises of the temple. With the aid of rescue teams, they were also brought down on Sunday, the Sub-Collector said after monitoring the situation.
Even a ten-minute rainfall could cause flooding in the hill and hence devotees were advised to be cautious under such circumstances. However, entry of devotees to the hills has been restricted on Monday and Tuesday citing safety precautionary measure, the Sub-Collector said. According to Watrap Forest Range Officer, S. Govindan, a total of 1,120 devotees got access to the Sathuragiri hill on Saturday.