Rains in Tamil Nadu abate; death toll touches 79

Chennai: The toll in rain-related incidents across Tamil Nadu on Tuesday touched 79 with eight more deaths reported from three districts, even as the MeT department said the low pressure area is likely to dissipate in a day or two, with likelihood of only scattered rains.

The state has been largely free of rains since last evening.

 Rains in Tamil Nadu abate; death toll touches 79

Representational image. AFP

The eight deaths in Villupuram, Vellore and Kanchipuram districts were due to electrocution, wall collapse and drowning.

"There is no depression as of now. The probabilty of the present system (low pressure area) turning into a depression is low. The low presure area is likely to dissipate in a day or two," Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, Regional Meteorological Centre, S R Ramanan told PTI.

The well marked low pressure area now lies over West Central and adjoining south west bay off South Coastal Andhra Pradesh and North Tamil Nadu coast, he said.

As a result, scattered, mild showers may be expected in Tamil Nadu, including Chennai and south Coastal Andhra Pradesh regions like Nellore would get more rains, he said.

In Kancheepuram district, the Army and Air Force were deployed to rescue stranded citizens as torrential rains left residents marooned, as rain water inundated a large part of suburban Tambaram locality in Chennai.

The Navy and Coast Guard have also joined rescue operations.

Coast Guard choppers airdropped 500 kg of bread, biscuits and drinking water in Tambaram in two sorties, a CG release said and added their helicopters have been kept on standby to augment state government's relief efforts.

The Navy said it had already sent in a well equipped team, comprising of divers, swimmers, inflatable crafts on Monday which had been positioned at Tambaram and that more boats and personnel have been sent to Tambaram, Kotturpuram and Manali.

A naval helicopter from INS Rajali at neighbouring Arakkonam was also on standby, the navy said, adding it was also ready with its 'assets' in Chennai and at Vishakapatnam to assist the state government as and when required.

Meanwhile, Southern Railway on Tuesday announced cancellation of 15 trains bound for various destinations due to the water logging on tracks.

Fifteen trains, scheduled to leave from Chennai and Puducherry and passing through Chennai Central on Tuesday and Wednesday have been cancelled, SR said in release.

In Chennai, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced Rs four lakh relief to the next of kin of the eight killed while opposition DMK pledged Rs one crore for relief and demanded all-party panels to monitor it.

On Monday Jayalalithaa had announced allocation of Rs 500 crore towards relief and rehabilitation.

Jayalalithaa also announced setting up of 50 more farm fresh outlets on a temporary basis in Chennai to tackle rising prices of vegetables due to reduced arrivals of fresh stocks as a result of rains. Already, 42 state-run farm fresh outlets are selling veggies in Chennai.

The new outlets would sell veggies like onions, potato and tomato, which are largely used by the people, an official release said.

Meanwhile, the DMK, which had expressed solidarity with the state government's relief and rehabilitation efforts, announced that Rs one crore would be given for disaster relief.

DMK chief Karunanidhi in a release said the amount was being given to the government towards disaster relief on behalf of his party.

"The announcement of Rs 500 crore towards relief and rehabilitation is very less considering the scale of damages," he said, referring to Jayalalithaa's announcement.

He said efforts should be made to get Central government's disaster relief fund on a large scale and wanted the government to try "to solicit funds from the rich in Tamil Nadu for disaster relief".

The DMK chief also urged setting up of "all-party committees in all the districts to extend adequate relief to the general public." Relief distribution should be made in the presence of such committees, he said.

Echoing the DMK demand, CPI State Secretary R Mutharasan suggested setting up up all-party monitoring committees to ensure speedy disbursal of relief to those affected "without any discrimination." He also urged the state to make efforts to get Central funds towards relief measures.

PMK chief Ramadoss demanded "Rs 5,000 as financial aid to each of the families that had lost job opportunities and livelihood resources due to the rains and flood.

PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 18, 2015 07:15:02 IST


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