December 8, 2010 3:01:12 am
Over 203 killed,including 52 women and 41 children,2167 livestock dead,over 29,000 dwelling units damaged,thousands of hectares of crop submerged,lakes,tanks and rivers filled to the brim,lives brought to a standstill the erratic but aggressive northeastern monsoon is raging on in Tamil Nadu. The heavy rains,virtually ceaseless since Sunday,continued strongly in Chennai and several coastal districts of the state,causing widespread damages. The death toll is attributed to rain-related incidents,including drowning,building collapse,electrocution.
The maximum number of deaths were reported from the coastal districts that bore the brunt of the monsoon fury in the last few days,where the chaos was compounded by floodwaters from upstream areas.
The Regional Meteorological Department has predicted more spells of rains including heavy rainfalls in the coastal regions.
The Cauvery delta region comprising the districts of Tiruchy,Thanjavur,Thiruvarur,Cuddalore and Nagapattinam was severely affected where crops were marooned under several feet of water. This has the potential to affect the agricultural productivity and thus procurement next year.
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Sensitive to the widespread damages caused by the rain,especially with only few more months to go for the next Assembly elections,the state government has swung into action,with minister and senior officials working overtime to ensure speedy relief and rehabilitation,and also to assess the damages.
The authorities have already announced financial compensation,including Rs 2 lakh to the kin of the victims. Relief centres have been set up to accommodate the families evacuated from inundated low-lying areas and potential trouble spots.
Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has directed officials to redress the problems of the affected population on a war footing.
Officials appointed by the state government to assess the damage caused by rains in the state,on Tuesday briefed the CM.
The state government has announced a Rs-500 crore relief and rehabilitation package on Tuesday.
Even as its fury spread havoc,the heavy showers filled up the lakes and streams across the state,promising a better time in the coming year in terms of water availability. While a uniformly spread out monsoon would help farmers,it requires heavy downpour to ensure that the water bodies are filled up.
Almost all the storage lakes and tanks,including lakes Poondi,Cholavaram,Red Hills and Chembarambakkam that supply drinking water to Chennai and its suburbs,have nearly reached the brim,prompting water managers to let out the excess water.
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