11 people killed in Thanjavur district

As electric sub-stations were damaged in some places, supply of electricity would be resumed only after a couple of days, officials said.

Thanjavur: At least 11 persons were killed, thousands of trees, electric poles were uprooted, paddy, coconut and banana crops on thousands of acres and hundreds of houses and boats were damaged as ‘Gaja’ cyclone wrought havoc on Thursday night and in early hours of Friday in Thanajvur district..

With wind blowing across the district at 90-km to 110-km speed along with heavy downpour as the cyclone crossed the district after hitting Vedaranyam at night, trail of destruction was visible in the morning. Howling sounds of the wind, sparkling lightning with heavy downpour threatened people who stayed indoors without sleep on Thursday night. Many roads were blocked due to fallen trees hindering traffic. Workers have to cut trees and make way throughout the day on Friday at various places in the district.

Pattukottai, Adirampattinam, Peravurani, Sethubavachathiram, Orathanadu were the worst hit followed by Thanjavur, Thiruvidaimaruthur and Kumbakonam.

Thousands of coconut trees were uprooted in Pattukottai and Peravurani area while ‘Samba’ and ‘Thaladi’ crops on thousands of acres were inundated. Officials said that damage assessment will be done and relief announced.

Those killed in wall collapses from strong winds and rain include Satheesh (22), Ramesh (21), Dinesh (19)-sons of Velmurugan and Ayyadurai (19) of Sivakollai area in Pattukottai, Keerthivasan (3), son of Muthukumar of Adhirampattinam (wall collapse), K.Perumal (45), of Sillathur near Orathanadu, Kala (17) of Keelathikottai near Peravurani and Saradambal (70) wife of Chinnaiayah of Kinnakudithottam near Melatuur in Papanasam taluk.

Further, Muneeswaran (12), son of Selvamani of Eripurakarai near Adhirampattinam was killed when an asbestos sheet tossed in wind hit him, while Vallaimmal (50), wife of Subramanian of Thennakudi near Peravurani was killed when a coconut tree fell on her. Karuppaian (22), son of Ilangovan of Ottankadu near Peravurani was killed as teak tree fell on him.

Adhirampattinam witnessed highest wind-speed of110-kmph. Many houses were damaged in the town. Adhirampattinam recorded 164 mm of rain, followed by Peravurani recording 144 mm and Pattukottai 143 mm.

As electric sub-stations were damaged in some places, supply of electricity would be resumed only after a couple of days, officials said. As a precautionary measure electricity was cut last night in the district. Thanjavur city corporation remained without power from last night and for the whole day on Friday.

Paddy, coconut, banana crops were damaged in thousands of acres. Coconut trees were uprooted in large numbers in Pattukottai, Peravurani areas where coconut cultivation is the main occupation.

According to official figures 5,000 electric poles and 3,350 trees were uprooted. Old 110 KV sub-station at Pattukottai was damaged. In 58 relief centres, 7,043 people are sheltered, out of whom 2,356 are males while 3,091 are females and 1,596 are children.

People, mainly daily wage workers in nearly 100 huts in MGR Nagar at Vallam near Thanjavur were moved to cyclone centres. Members of ‘Makkal Needhi Maiam’ provided food to them.

A big banyan tree fell across Kumbakonam-Karaikal road at Thiruneelakudi. Police and other officials rushed to the spot to clear it. Boats were damaged at Mallipattinam boat jetty. People of Pattukottai, Sethubavachathiram and Peravurani alleged that there was delay in officials coming to their rescue.

Minaret of a mosque on Vadaseri road in Pattukottai was damaged. Meanwhile, P.R. Pandian, coordinator of ‘Thamizhaga Anaithu Vivasayigal Sangangalin Orungianippu Kuzhu’ said that damage to crop and property was extensive and that Tamil Nadu government should provide immediate relief. Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami should visit cyclone affected areas and assess the damage and take steps to provide relief and bring succour to people, he appealed.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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