It was a harrowing experience for the devotees, who marched up to the hillock temple to offer prayers on the special occasion of ‘Purattasi Saturday’.
After learning the situation, rescue forces had swung into action to evacuate the devotees to safer places, sources said.
Tirunelveli Collector V Vishnu along with Superintendent of Police N Manivannan inspected the rescue efforts carried out by Departments of Fire and Rescue Services personnel, Police, Forest and Revenue. The Collector said all 650 devotees have been evacuated safely. Further, he said it rained heavily and caused flooding over a bridge at Thirukkurungudi.
Sources said many of the devotees could have accessed the temple since Friday to perform rituals and offer ‘annadhanam’ on the ‘Purattasi Saturday’ being the auspicious day for them.
Heavy downpour along Western Ghats in the coastal Kanyakumari district gave rise to water level in dams prompting the PWD authorities to release surplus water. Twenty thousand cusecs of water are being discharged from Pechiparai and Perunchani dams through irrigation channels and Kuzhithurai and Pazhayar rivers. People residing in low lying areas on the river banks have been advised to be cautious.
Ten people from four families were evacuated to safer places in the rain that hit Thiruvattar taluk. Monitoring committees led by Deputy Collectors have been deputed in every taluk and emergency operation centres are also functional, sources said.
Kanniyakumari District Fire Officer B Saravana Babu said brigades are in action at Labour Colony in Keeriparai to render help if required.
A 17-year old boy drowned in Valliyaru river and eight brigades from Colachel fire station have undertaken search and rescue operations.