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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hundreds of villages inundated

NAGAPATTINAM: Through there was some respite from rain after nine days on Friday, people continued to suffer as flood water is yet to drain in Nagapattinam district.
With breaches reported in almost all the rivers, hundreds of villages are waterlogged and over 3.74 lakh people are staying in the relief centres opened at 641 places in the district. Ten people were killed in the last three days. Principal Secretary to the Government Leena Nair is camping at Nagapattinam overseeing the relief operations with District Collector M Jayaraman.
Speaking to reporters, Leena Nair said Mudikindanaru and Arasalaru in the district were in spate and people of several nearby villages had been evacuated to safety. DRDA Project Officer Arunmani was overseeing the PWD operation to plug the breaches in the rivers in the district, she said.
Collector Jayaraman said the Chief Minister had ordered the administration to expedite the flood relief measures.
“According to preliminary estimates, the total loss in Nagapattinam district has been estimated at Rs 331 crore. Samba crops in 1.32 lakh ha have been damaged. Banana, vegetable and other crops have been affected in 1,010 ha,” said the Collector.
Jayaraman said the rain has claimed 10 lives in the district and the kin of the dead have been provided with Chief Minister’s solatium of Rs 1 lakh each.
PUDUCHERRY: The restoration of power supply, that was cut off for the past two days following heavy rains and gale, has bought some respite for the residents here, but the opening of Veedur dam in Villupuram district in Tamil Nadu is causing a new concern for them.
The Veedur dam, now at 30ft against its capacity of 32 ft, has been opened and water will pass through the Sankarabarani River to Puducherry and hence there is a threat of damage to Puducherry. Similarly, of the 84 tanks in Puducherry, 83 are overflowing including the Ousteri lake, said the Revenue department officials. Three lakh food packets have been distributed to the rain-affected people who have been housed in marriage halls and schools.
The distribution will continue on Saturday too.
Meanwhile, political parties from Puducherry have sought rain relief for distribution among the affected people in the Union Territory. Puducherry Munnetra Kazhagam MLA K Lakshminarayan on Friday urged the government to distribute Rs 3,000 cash relief and 30 kg of rice each to the affected families. The CPM has sought a relief of Rs 2,000 and 25 kg of rice each for the affected families. In a statement, V Perumal, secretary of the local party unit, said farmers, daily-wage earners and labourers had been severely affected by the rain.
DHARMAPURI: Dharmapuri district collector P Amudha has issued a flood alert in villages situated in low lying areas near Vaniyar dam and appealed to the people to vacate and move to safer places.
According to PWD officials, since the dam, 55 km from here, is filled to its capacity of 65 ft, the surplus water is being released since Thursday evening.
A team of officials consisting of PWD and Revenue officials were deployed to monitor the situation in Vaniyar Dam, she added.
CUDDALORE: Cyclone Nisha has been a blessing in disguise for students in Cuddalore as they made quick money with sickles and axes removing uprooted trees in residential areas and other places.
The cyclone has uprooted nearly 2,000 trees in Chidambaram, Vriddachalam, Kattumanar Koil and Cuddalore.
As the trees were raised on soft soil they could not withstand strong winds and the torrential rainfall for past six days. The cyclone has destroyed about 2400 houses completely and 13,083 partially.
S Santhosh Kuma (15) of Cuddalore Municipal Higher Secondary School said schools were closed on Monday and so along with some schoolmates they were engaged in cutting the uprooted trees. He added that they were making Rs 200 to 400 per day as pocket money for the past three days and they used the amount to buy household articles.

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