#PondicherryRains resume, over 10,000 evacuated

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Puducherry, Dec 3: After a 13-hour lull, heavy showers resumed on Thursday in Puducherry where large areas have been inundated and over 400 houses damaged due to torrential rains, forcing evacuation of thousands of people.

As many as 173 relief centres were operating in Puducherry and Karaikal region and more than 10,000 people were evacuated to safer places, Commissioner for Relief and Secretary to Government V Candavelou said.

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All schools and colleges will remain closed till December 6, according to Electricity Minister T.Thiagarajan.

Lt Governor A K Singh today visited rain hit pockets while Chief Minister N Rangasamy took stock of the situation in interior villages. People of Puducherry had some short-lived relief when rains stopped last night.

However, as the day advanced the Union Territory was again battered by heavy rains. According to the weather forecast, Puducherry and Karaikal regions as well as Cuddalore district in neighbouring Tamil Nadu were likely to get very heavy rains during the next couple of days.

Puducherry Administration has intensified steps to manage the situation arising out of the torrential rains which was "unprecedented, serious and worst in last 100 years", Chief Secretary Manoj Parida said at a press connference. 

He said that already two teams of National Disaster Relief Response had arrived at Puducherry and one of them had rushed to Karaikal, where very heavy rains are expected, to respond to any emergency situation.

The Union Territory government had sought a central assistance of Rs 182 crore. Chief Minister N.Rangasamy had sent letters seeking the assistance to Prime Minister and also to the Union Home Minister in the wake of heavy rains during the last one month.

The Chief Secretary said that an inter-ministerial official team headed by Joint Secretary to Union Agriculture Ministry Prasad had already visited the Union Territory and assessed the damage.

Subsequent to the team's visit, Puducherry has been pounded by a fresh bout of rain. Hence a supplementary report is being finalised which would be forwarded to the Centre.

He said the Lt Governor and Chief Minister had spoken to the Prime Minister's Office bringing to their notice the havoc caused in Puducherry during the last two days. 

Parida said Puducherry government had requested the Indian Air Force to place at its disposal a helicopter which would proceed to Karaikal with food packets and other materials as heaviest rains were expected to batter the region which is around 150 kms from the capital of Union Territory.

He said Puducherry had received as much as 132 cm rainfall which was more than it would get in two months during north-east monsoon.

He refereed to road breaches, marooning of various localities, water logging of around 7000 hectares of farm fields, collapse of 450 dwelling units and death of two persons in Puducherry in the recent rains.

He said all precautionary steps have been taken and the government was keen that drinking water supply, power supply and availability of essential commodities were maintained.

Puducherry government was monitoring the situation in the lakes and other water bodies and necessary vigil was maintained on the water level in the lakes and tanks.

Candavelou said mobile health units were pressed into service. Water division in PWD had already taken up steps to chlorinate drinking water "We have sufficient stock of medicines and drugs and there is therefore no room for any panic," he said.

Speaking about the situation in the Union Territory, District Collector D Manikandan said more than two lakh food packets had been distributed since last two days. Welfare and Tourism Minister P Rajavelu today visited the rain-ravaged housing colonies in Embalam (reserved) Assembly constituency and assessed the damage.

The Collector added that of the 110 water bodies in Puducherry, 103 tanks and lakes had received water to their full capacity.

Puducherry recorded 7.3 cm rainfall during the last 24 hours that ended at 8.30 AM today and projected a cumulative rainfall of 44 cm rainfall since beginning of this week.

Meanwhile, several voluntary organisations launched relief works in rain-hit areas and distributed food packets, blankets and water bottles to affected people in and around Puducherry.

Puducherry Heritage Round Table the Rotary Club and volunteers of various social outfits rendered help to the affected people.


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