Heavy rains in Tamil Nadu; Over 50 dead so far

RSTV Bureau

Tamil Nadu coastline continues to bear heavy showers with capital city Chennai receiving nearly 150 millimetres rainfall throughout Thursday. As per the latest information, 55 people have died in rain-related incidents and flooding, with Cuddalore being the worst affected area. The MeT department has now forecast another spell of heavy showers next week following formation of a new trough of low pressure.

“A new trough of low pressure has formed in South Andaman Sea. It is expected to develop into a low pressure in South Eastern Bay of Bengal on November 14,” Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) Chennai Director S R Ramanan told reporters.

Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa condoled the death of the victims, a majority of whom died due to drowning in flood waters and announced Rs four lakh each to their families as assistance from the Disaster Relief Fund.

The Chief Minister had on Thursday held a review meeting in Chennai with the officials to assess the situation in Cuddalore where relief and rehabilitation measures were being taken up in full swing. Senior state Ministers, including O Panneerselvam, deputed by Jayalalithaa, visited the rain-affected district and held consultations with local officials regarding the relief and rescue work.

They directed the officials to carry relief measures including restoring supply of power and drinking water on ‘war-footing’, officials said.

Meanwhile, several parts of capital city Chennai and the suburbs, including commercial hub of Velachery, received rains overnight inundating low-lying areas further damaging roads. The weather office forecast rains in many places in southern districts with heavy rains in some areas and over a few places in northern Tamil Nadu for the next 24 hours.

A report from Cuddalore said incessant rains had severely damaged standing crops in Chidambaram and Panruti. Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi founder T Velmurugan said Cuddalore had been repeatedly affected by natural calamities and urged the Centre to declare it as a ‘disaster-affected district’ and award a relief package of Rs 1,000 crore.

Tamil Nadu usually receives 440 mm of rains during the North East monsoon season between October and December. However in the past three days alone 300 mm rainfall has been recorded due to a deep depression.

“On an average Cuddalore district gets 697 mm rain. So far the district has got 500 mm rains,” the Chief Minister said.

(With inputs from the PTI)