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Hometamil-naduGot a year’s rainfall in single day in southern districts, want more...

Got a year’s rainfall in single day in southern districts, want more central funds: TN CM

New Delhi/Chennai: The southern districts of Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi were among the severely affected by unprecedented rains as they received their annual rainfall on a single day leading to massive inundation, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin said on Tuesday.

As the state was coping with the relief and rehabilitation of the four districts including Chennai where Cyclone Michaung wreaked havoc on December 4, heavy rains battered the southern districts of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Tenkasi and Kanyakumari, on December 17 and 18, he said.

Relief and rehabilitation in these districts would be taken up in the same vigour in which the state government had launched the activities in Chennai and suburbs, Stalin said and added that he would personally visit Thoothukudi on Wednesday to oversee the relief and rehabilitation activities.

“The rainfall received in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi was the highest ever recorded in history – in the last 47-60 years. You all know that a year’s rainfall was emptied from the skies in one day. Kayalpattinam alone received 94 cm rainfall,” the Chief Minister told reporters in the national capital.

The quantum of rainfall received was far above the prediction of the IMD for December 17 and 18, he said.

Eight state ministers and 10 IAS officers besides trained state forces and 10 NDRF teams were involved in the rescue operations in the southern districts. Army help has also been sought, he added.

So far 12,653 people have been rescued and lodged in relief camps and they are being taken care of. Also, food is being distributed to the marooned people through helicopters.

According to the Chief Minister, people from 4 districts including Chennai, affected by Cyclone Michaung, were saved due to precautionary measures taken by the state government before and after the cyclone, thereby minimising the loss of lives and damage to property.

“We have requested additional funds of Rs 7,033 crore as interim relief and Rs 12,059 crore as permanent relief for Chennai and suburbs, as this was a major disaster. And we have commenced the distribution of relief of Rs 6,000 to each family in the 4 affected districts without waiting for the central funds,” he said.

Complete relief work could be carried out only if the central government provided the funds fully, he said. He would take up this issue and also submit a detailed report on the extend of damages in the southern districts to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his meeting tonight and seek additional central assistance.

(Published 19 December 2023, 09:39 IST)

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