– Screengrab from video posted by MK Stalin
The video of the incident, which reportedly occurred on Sunday, shows a woman clutching her child while balancing herself against a rock next to the Anaivari Muttal waterfall, a tourist spot near the state’s Salem district.
A crowd gathered on the opposite side can be seen shouting instructions to the woman in the Tamil language to not jump.
Rescue officials from the state’s forest department reached the spot and are seen in the video using a long rope to pull up the woman and child to safety.
Anaivari Muttal is a tourist attraction as rainwater from one part of the area descends to become a waterfall, according to officials. The region is, however, prone to flash floods triggered by heavy rain.
“This is the Attur region. If the rainfall happens in the Karmandurai region on the other side of this hill, people won’t know it from here. Within 20-30 minutes, the flash flood waters reached the area. It happens every year. This time, the water quantity was more,” Salem district forest officer K Gowtham told The Indian Express newspaper.
“People were trapped on the side. There was no path. They could reach the other side only using a rope,” he added.
Mr Gowtham said forest officials were able to rescue the woman and child as they “had already been trained for such circumstances.”
“We immediately vacated the people and ordered closure of the area,” he said.
While the woman and her child made it to the top, two rescue officials helping them were swept away by gushing water in the video.
Mr Gowtham said the officials managed to swim to safety, adding that no casualties or injuries were reported as a result of the incident.
The daring rescue operation earned the praise of the state’s chief minister MK Stalin. The officials will be honoured by the state government, he said in a tweet in Tamil along with the video.
“The courageous act of those who saved the mother and daughter is commendable,” he said.
“Humanity shines on the shores of those who dare to save the lives of others,” he added.
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