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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rain claims 22 more lives, control rooms set up in affected areas

CHENNAI: As many as 22 people were killed, mainly in coastal districts, in the rain following the recent development of a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, officials said.
Schools and colleges remained closed and normal life was affected because of the heavy rain since morning.
Thanjavur and Cuddalore reported five deaths each, Chennai three, Ariyalur and Dindigul two each, Coimbatore, Kanyakumari, Tiruvarur, Villupuram and Tuticorin one each.
A fishing boat was missing off Pulicat near 20 fathoms area and another off Rameswaram. Chief Secretary K.S.Sripathi requested the Eastern Region Coast Guard to conduct search operations to locate the two boats and the fishermen.
Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi will chair a meeting of the Cabinet on Thursday to take stock of the situation. Local Administration Minister M.K.Stalin convened a meeting of top officials and the police on Wednesday and they briefed him on the emergency steps taken.
Mr. Stalin wanted them to carry out relief operations and directed them to ensure that coastal districts were well equipped with grains, clothing and medicines.
A central control room is functioning from Chennai and regional control rooms have been established in the affected areas to convey immediately the needs of the affected areas.
While a few Ministers and MLAs toured the coastal districts of the State on Wednesday to present a first-hand account to Mr.Karunanidhi, the Chief Minister’s Office maintained close liaison with the district administrations and is moving in personnel in places where there is a need.
Since the monsoon began on October 15, as many as 64 persons have lost their lives. More than 3,000 huts have been damaged and 121 heads of cattle perished. Relief amounts have been handed over to the next of kin of 42 of the 64 families.


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