Coimbatore's Inspector P Thirumeni was alone on night duty in the police station, when he got a distress call.
The floods in and around Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, have increased in intensity, as surplus water was discharged from the Kurichi tank into the Noyyal river through the Sunnambu Kalvai Channel. The surging waters left a trail of destruction, with three houses collapsing, according to a Times of India report.
According to another TOI report, heavy rains in another region, Valparai, trapped ten people in flooded houses at Valaitottam, in Valparai, in the early hours of Thursday.
An official source quoted in the publication said that people living in more than 100 houses in the area were asked to move to the nearby Government Arts and Science college around midnight, as the Valaitottam river began to swell due to heavy rains.
At around 2 am, Valparai Inspector P Thirumeni was alone at the Valparai Police Station, serving night duty, when he received an alert.
A few families were stranded in the flooded buildings the alert said, even as most people had either moved to the college, or to the top floor of nearby buildings, Inspector Thirumeni told The Times of India.
The Inspector immediately rushed to the location. As soon as he reached the spot, he noticed that the first floors of all the buildings in the area was completely submerged. It was also in complete darkness, as electricity had been disconnected to avoid any untoward incidents.
The only sound to be heard was that of gushing water, the Inspector said, adding that he had no clue where people were trapped.
It was the cries of a baby that led him to the distressed. He was alone and had no other option, but was determined to save them.
Swimming to and fro several times the Inspector rescued ten people, while residents guided him by flashing torches.
After the Inspector rescued the distressed residents, fire service personnel reached the spot and rescued 12 conductors and drivers, who were stranded in the TNSTC bus stand.
It is hard to imagine diving into unknown waters, let alone in pitch darkness amidst a flood!
Kudos to this brave effort that resulted in the saving of all the residents.