Tiruchy: Gaja devastation huge

He said Tamil Nadu Handlooms minister O S Manian visited several affected areas and was supervising the ongoing relief activities.

Tiruchy: Normal life was thrown out of gear in the central districts of Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Pudukkottai districts as ‘Gaja’ cyclone wreaked havoc uprooting thousands of trees and electric posts, even as it claimed at least 20 lives in Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Pudukkottai districts.

State Food Minister R. Kamaraj and Tiruvarur collector L. Nirmalraj told newsmen at Tiruvarur soon after inspecting the cyclone hit-areas that 1,11,792 affected peoples have been accommodated in 202 cyclone relief centres, across the district. They said Thiruthuraipoondi and Muthupettai recorded the maximum rainfall of 17 cm each.

The collectors said 28,500 trees were uprooted across Tiruvarur district and efforts were on to clear the uprooted trees. Nearly 3,000 electric posts were also damaged across the district. As many as 200 Tangedco and 430 sanitation staff from neighbouring districts are on their way to Tiruvarur to assist the cyclone relief activities.

Though the Tiruvarur collector confirmed only two casualties in the cyclone unofficial sources claimed at least five persons were killed in that district.

In Nagapattinam district, 49,622 cyclone-hit people were moved to 114 centres and 78 medical teams are on the move in the district to take care of the cyclone-affected people, said its collector Dr S. Sureshkumar.

He said Tamil Nadu Handlooms minister O S Manian visited several affected areas and was supervising the ongoing relief activities. Sureshkumar said four teams of National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) and 14 teams of State Disaster Rescue forces have fanned out in the district to undertake relief and rescue operations.

As per preliminary reports, he said in Nagapattinam district, 11,512 huts were damaged, 11 heads of cattle died, 13 boats fully damaged. 32,818 trees uprooted, 18,000 electric posts and 520 transformers fully damaged.

He further said 500 fishermen’s houses were damaged when the sea water entered their houses in Akkaraipettai and Keechangkuppam fishermen hamlets. This apart 48 boats of Arcotthurai fishermen anchored at the Nagapattinam port were damaged. Another 50 boats of Keecahgkuppam fishermen were also damaged, he added.

The collector said the roof of the ticket reservation centre, goods booking office and platforms at the Nagapattinam railway station are severely damaged. At Velankanni church, the statue of Lord Jesus and a Cross erected atop the tallest church tower were damaged, he added.

In Pudukkottai district, while State Health minister, Dr C Vijayabaskar put the human casualties at seven due to the cyclone, unconfirmed reports put the number of deaths at 11.

More than 150 mechanised boats anchored at the Jagathapatnam coast were damaged as the boats collided. Another 60 mechanised boats anchored at Kottaipatnam shore were virtually bulldozed the winds to Pudukkudi shore, said official sources.

In Tiruchy district more than one lakh banana crops in more than 2,000 acres fully damaged. A 60-year-old autorickshaw driver Duraisamy was killed on the spot when a tree crashed on his vehicle at suburb Navalpattu.

Tiruchy collector, K. Rajamani said rescue and relief teams are in full swing to clear the uprooted trees, electric posts, and other structural works like cell phone tower in the district. Sanitary staff from Tiruchirappalli municipal corporation have been rushed for relief work in neighbouring districts.

Train services across Tiruchy, Karur, Ariyalur, Pudukkottai, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts have also been severely affected. The Madurai Chennai Vaigai superfast express train was detained for about an hour at Vaiyampatti railway station as the power supply went off due to the heavy storm, railway sources said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story