Rain claims 19 lives in Tamil Nadu districts

Chennai, Nov 11 (IANS) Nineteen persons have lost their lives due to rain in Cuddalore and Kanchipuram districts in the last two days and relief efforts are in full swing, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said on Wednesday.

In a statement issued here, she announced a solatium of Rs.4 lakh to family members of each of the deceased.

Meanwhile, the state government is trying to restore electricity supply to villages in Cuddalore district – around 230 km from Chennai – through diesel-run generators as power supply there has been disrupted by heavy rain.

The government has also deployed personnel drawn from other districts to help resumption of power supply.

On November 9, a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal crossed near Tamil Nadu-Puducherry coast, resulting in heavy rain and consequent flood in Cuddalore district.

The official statement said the government was ensuring safe drinking water supply through tankers in the flooded areas.

According to Cuddalore administration, 35 health camps have been set up in the district and the affected people administered injections and tablets to prevent spread of water-borne diseases.

People living in the flood-affected areas have been shifted to camps and food packets are being distributed among them.

However, relief measures are yet to reach some pockets in the district, according to reports here.

Roads and railway lines have been damaged due to flood waters.

“Flooding of residential areas has become a recurring feature in Cuddalore district,” an affected person told a television channel.

In other parts of the state, standing crops were damaged by the heavy downpour.

The Indian Coast Guard has deployed its Dornier aircraft and patrol vessel to locate around 120 unmanned fishing boats drifting in the sea.

The fishing boats anchored in the Gadilam river at Devanampattinam in Cuddalore district were dragged away to the sea by the huge waves.

According to the Coast Guard, five drifting boats were sighted around two nautical miles from the coast and their positions were intimated to the fishery department authorities while the search for the remaining boats is going on.

Meanwhile, DMK president M. Karunanidhi flayed the AIADMK government for allegedly not taking precautionary measures despite weather department’s warning of impending rain.

He said the state government does not give definite figures of the toll from rain in the state.

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