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Hometamil-nadu10 people lost their lives in historic rainfall in south TN: Chief...

10 people lost their lives in historic rainfall in south TN: Chief Secy

Chennai: As many as 10 people have succumbed to the historic rainfall which lashed several parts of southern districts in the last two days, disrupting normal life, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena said on Tuesday.

The senior bureaucrat said the forecast of heavy rainfall by India Meteorological Department was also ‘wrong’ as extremely heavy rainfall was received in the affected districts within two days.

“Ten people have died in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts due to the rainfall. While some lost their lives due to wall collapse, some died due to electrocution,” he told reporters at the Secretariat.

Observing that the forecast by the IMD turned out to be ‘wrong’, he said, “the IMD had predicted isolated to heavy, very heavy to extremely rainfall may occur in one or two places. This is what the forecast said. But Kayalpattinam (a municipality in Tuticorin district) received 115 cm rainfall in two days.”

Giving some details about the rainfall, he said southern districts particularly Tirunelveli and Tuticorin witnessed record rainfall and flooding.

“Kayalpattinam within 30 hours received 1,186 mm of rainfall while Tiruchendur 921 mm. Lot of places in Tuticorin and those villages which are located on the banks of river Thamirabharani were affected due to the floods,” he said.

He said nearly 1,343 personnel from Central and state government agencies including the Navy, Air Force, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force were involved in the rescue and relief operation work.

“Till date we have set up 160 relief camps and about 17,000 people have been accommodated in these relief camps. About 34,000 food packets have been supplied to people and even now, we cannot reach some villages as water level is yet to recede”, he said.

Nine helicopters were involved in relief work and through them 13,500 kg of food was supplied to stranded victims.

“There is also a possibility for one more helicopter to join the rescue operation,” he said responding to a query.

Maintaining that the government has been taking steps with regard to supply of essentials to affected people, he said 64,900 litres of milk were supplied in Tirunelveli, 30,000 litres in Tuticorin.

“We expect complete supply of milk restoration will take place in Tuticorin in one or two days,” he said, adding electricity supply has been completely restored in Kanyakumari and Tenkasi districts.

“Many places in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin are yet to receive full supply of electricity. In Tuticorin district, 40 per cent of electricity has been restored. Why the delay in supply of electricity is because water is still flowing in some of the areas,” he said.

With the support of local fishermen, nearly 323 boats have been deployed to rescue the stranded victims and some more personnel from neighbouring districts would be deployed for relief work, he said.

To a query, he said, “our important task is to rescue people. After that damage assessment would be made.”

Responding to another query, he said one cannot compare the impact caused by cyclone Michaung in Chennai and its neighbouring regions to the present rainfall in southern districts, as the state capital is “one hundred per cent urban area.”

“For example, in a place (in an urban locality) if one mobile tower does not work, another will work which may be located nearby. But here in the villages affected in the southern districts, there is a lack of network connectivity. There may be one or two mobile towers. Police have been instructed to deploy additional 200 wireless sets in the areas surrounding Tuticorin to coordinate the relief work,” he said.

(Published 19 December 2023, 16:41 IST)

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