Tamil Nadu CM O Pannerselvam leads from front for relief in affected areas

He conducted review meetings with top officials at the State Secretariat at periodic intervals.

Chennai: Chief Minister O Pannerselvam was at the forefront of the relief operations on Monday as Cyclone Vardah ravaged the capital city and its suburbs. He conducted review meetings with top officials at the State Secretariat at periodic intervals.

In a statement issued on Monday evening, the Chief Minister said a total of 10,432 people have been evacuated and lodged at 97 camps in three districts where they are being given food and safe drinking water. They are also being provided with mats and blankets.

"I spoke to district collectors and IAS officers in-charge of the relief operations and I am in constant touch with authorities in the districts. Since the Cyclone Vardah made its landfall near Harbour with a speed of 130 kmph, electricity supply was cut-off in several areas. Though power supply would be restored in several areas soon, a few areas would take one or two days for restoration," he said.

Mr OPS said he has deputed six ministers each to Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts to oversee the relief operations and advice district administration. The Chief Minister also said 113 ambulances have been kept on standby to meet any emergency needs.

The CM, who arrived at the Secretariat at 10 am, stayed in his chamber through the day and reviewed the situation in various parts of the state by keeping in touch with ministers and officials of various departments at periodic intervals.

The Chief Minister's Office also issued press releases and appeals by CM asking people to stay indoors till 7 pm on Monday evening and not venture out.

Official sources said the CM took several meetings with officials through the day on Monday regarding the preparations and later about the relief operations.

"The Chief Secretary was briefing him regularly about the Cyclone Vardah. He was at his chamber getting regular updates about the relief operations," a senior official said. Later in the day, Mr OPS also received a telephone call from Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh who assured that the Union Government would do everything possible to help Tamil Nadu in mitigating the damage caused by the devastating cyclone.

As the cyclone made its landfall near Chennai Harbour, Mr OPS stepped out of the Secretariat and drove straight to the worst affected Ennore and surrounding areas and met with people affected by the cyclone.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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