Relief work on as rain batters TN's Kanyakumari, other districts



Heavy rains battered Tamil Nadu's southern districts on Thursday night and early Friday morning, killing nine people in the last two days and throwing life out of gear in several places.

Even as relief and rescue operations were mounted in a big way, authorities in several districts, Kanyakumari, Tirunnelveli and Thoothukudi ordered closure of schools and colleges on Friday.

Life in Kanyakumari was thrown out of gear due to heavy rain and strong winds. Over 1,000 affected people have been put up in camps, as per officials.

State capital Chennai also received copious rains from Thursday night. 

Nine persons have died in Tamil Nadu due to rain following the Ockhi cyclone in the last couple of days. Chief Minister K. Palaniswami has declared ex gratia for the bereaved families.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the state DRF are involved in rescue and relief operations in Kanyakumari district.

According to officials, over 4,000 electricity poles have fallen, disrupting power supply to many areas and repair work is on to restore supply. Similarly, uprooted trees are being removed to help restore road traffic.

Several villages in Kanyakumari district are marooned. Steps are on to drain rainwater from Suchindram town in the district.

At the state Secretariat, Palaniswami held a meeting with top officials and took stock of the situation in the Ockhi-hit areas.

He instructed officials to take steps to locate 30 fishermen on 11 boats who went missing at sea.

In a statement issued later, the state government said power supply will be restored in Kanyakumari in a day or two.

The statement said the Fisheries Department and coastal security agencies had so far rescued 76 fishermen in 18 boats.

According to the meteorological department here, the Ockhi cyclone is expected to cross the Lakshadweep Islands in 24 hours.

It said a strong depression in the Andaman region will further intensify in two days and move towards south Tamil Nadu or the north Andhra Pradesh coast over three-four days.

The department predicted rain in Theni, Dindugul, Coimbatore and Nilgiri regions in Tamil Nadu in the next 24 hours.

The department also warned Kanyakumari fishermen not to venture out to sea. - IANS