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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rain claims 10 lives in State

CHENNAI: Ten people were killed as heavy rain lashed the coastal areas of the State, inundating crops and forcing fishermen to stay ashore.
The Indian Navy and the Coast Guard struggled to patrol the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Bay as the choppy seas threw up waves that hit hard the sides of small vessels.
M. Naina Mohamed Natchiar (65) died when she came in contact with a live electric wire at Kilakarai. K. Santhi (26) and her niece Mahalakshmi (10) were killed when a wall collapsed on their hut at Naidupuram in Kodaikanal.
K. Amirtha Mari (55) of Sathankulam was killed in a wall collapse in Tuticorin district. Six persons, including two girls and two boys, a fisherman were reported killed in Cuddalore and Villupuram.
Over 100 boats were damaged on the Ramanathapuram coast at Mandapam, Pamban, Rameswaram and Tiruppalakudi. Over 200 families in Ramanathapuram and Rameswaram were evacuated to safer places. One Indian fishing boat was reported to have sunk near Kachchatheevu, after it failed to negotiate a huge wave. Fishermen on board were rescued by another boat in the vicinity, according to the Coast Guard. It put off repatriation of fishermen from Sri Lanka because of the weather.
Cyclone warning flag No 3 had been hoisted at Pamban and Cuddalore as the wind velocity was recorded at 55 to 65 km per hour.
Due to gusty winds, Southern Railway regulated the Madurai-Rameswaram passenger at Pamban on Monday night. The production at Neyveli dropped to a fourth of its installed capacity.
Dams were nearing their full capacity in the southern districts on Tuesday. Several rivers in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts were in full flow and tanks in many of the districts were getting filled up.
As 506 PWD tanks in the district were getting filled up, officials opened the Ramanathapuram Big Tank and the Sakkarakottai tank to drain surplus water into the sea. Breaches were reported at some places in smaller tanks. Paddy crop was found submerged at several places but farmers were hopeful that the water would drain in a few days.
Generally cloudy weather has been the forecast with one or two spells of shower/thundershowers for the next two days.
Rain continued to pound delta districts on Tuesday, disrupting normal life and causing widespread inundation of paddy crop. The core delta districts of Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts bore the brunt. In Nagapattinam, up to 20,000 hectares may have been submerged, officials said. However, an assessment of damage was at a preliminary stage.
About 32,000 hectares of late thaladi and 25,000 hectares under samba, planted late in the district due to scarcity of water, might be affected by the heavy rain and possible flooding from the upper reaches. Crops submerged
Standing samba and thaladi paddy crops in several parts of Thanjavur district, particularly in Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, Thiruvaiyaru, Tiruvidaimarudur and Orathanadu blocks were submerged in the continuous rain since Monday night. Samba paddy crop has been raised on about 1.05 lakh hectares and thaladi paddy crop on about 25,000 hectares in the district. Revenue and Agriculture officials said the crops would not be affected if the water drained quickly.
System tanks in Tiruchi, Ariyalur and Thanjavur districts under the River Conservation Division of the Public Works Department, Tiruchi Region, have been receiving heavy inflows. Of the 187 tanks under the division, 50 have reached full capacity.
The capacity of the Veeranam tank is being maintained at 45 feet as against its full level of 47 feet. As much as 2,200 cusecs of water was being discharged.

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