Rain toll rises to 71; Karunanidhi visits rain-battered areas

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Chennai, Dec 22 (UNI) The toll in rain-related incidents in Tamil Nadu during the last four days mounted to 71, with 19 more deaths reported from various parts of the State, even as Chief Minister M Karunanidhi visited some of the affected areas on the outskirts of the city.

Reports received at the police headquarters here confirmed the death of 71 people. This included 36 men, 18 women, 11 boys and six girls. However, the district wise break-up was not available.

The rains, which lashed the city, Cauvery delta areas and other districts under the influence of a low pressure in the Bay, had abated and life was returning to normalcy.

Meanwhile, Mr Karunanidhi inspected the old Karanodai bridge across river Kusasthalai, damaged by incessant rains earlier in the week, in adjoining Tiruvallur district.

Accompanied by Union Minister A Raja and State Ministers Duraimurugan and K P P Sami, the Chief Minister also inspected the damage caused to crops in Vanjivakkam, Thathaimanji, Kattur and Minjur in that district. He also distributed relief assistance, rice and dresses to the affected people.

The bridge had collapsed two days ago after surplus waters in the Poondi reservoir were discharged following torrential rains.

The bridge, damaged by flood waters in 1992, was repaired and a new bridge was also constructed adjacent to it.

Mr Karunanidhi said he inspected the damaged Karanodai bridge and crops submerged in water in over 150 hectares of land in Ponneri taluk.

UNI

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