Monsoon fury leaves 25 dead in TN, 1000 people in relief camps
Coimbatore, Dec 02: As many as 25 people have died in various rain-related incidents in Tamil Nadu since November 29, the state government said on Monday. This includes 17 who died after a wall collapsed on three houses at Nadur village in Mettupalayam near Coimbatore.
As the North-East monsoon intensifies in the state, nearly 1,000 people have been accommodated in relief camps in Tuticorin, Cuddalore and Tirunelveli districts which bore the brunt of rain fury.
Some low-lying areas in Chennai and nearby Chenglepet and Kancheepuram districts were inundated following the downpour. Chief Minister K Palaniswami chaired a review meeting with his deputy O Panneerselvam and other cabinet colleagues and senior officials to take stock of the situation. He issued orders to monitor the reservoirs, many of which are either full or fast filling up.
An official release said eight persons died in various rain-related incidents between November 29 and December 1. Further, 17 people were killed in a wall collapse in Coimbatore on Monday, taking the total to 25.
As many as 58 head of cattle perished while over 1,700 thatched and tiled roof houses suffered damage. While the government announced Rs four lakh each to the families of the 17 victims killed in Mettupalayam, Palaniswami ordered due compensation to the kin of the other deceased, the release said. The monsoon had set in on October 16 bringing widespread rains.
Palaniswami asked officials to ensure preparedness by holding adequate stocks of medicines, food, diesel generators and disinfectants. Rescue teams should be on standby with necessary equipment to rush to affected areas while designated officials should monitor the percautionary measures, it said quoting the chief minister.
The incessant rains in Chennai over the weekend brought cheer to the city's water managers, as the storage in the four reservoirs went up. The combined storage in the four reservoirs - Poondi, Cholavaram, Redhills and Chembrambakkam - stood at 4,091 million cubic feet (mcft), double the level it was on the same day in 2018, which was 1,694 mcft.
The overall combined capacity is 11,257 mcft. With forecast of more rains, the water managers are hopeful of a better situation next summer as Chennai witnessed one of its worst water crises this year following a weak monsoon in 2018. In Erode district, a flood alert has been issued to people living on the banks of river Bhavani as a dam built across it was brimming in the wake of copious rains in catchment areas.
The water-level in the Lower Bhavani Project reservoir reached its maximum of 105 feet and the storage crossed 32 tmc feet against maximum of 32.8 tmc ft, prompting the Public Works Department (PWD) to more than triple the discharge from 3,500 cusecs to 11,950 cusecs in the morning.
Consequently, Revenue officials released a flood alert and advised people living on the banks of River Bhavani to move to safer places. At the hilly Nilgiris district, vehicular traffic was paralysed on the Coonoor-Mettupalayam highway following landslides at 12 locations due to rain. Traffic was diverted through Kotagiri and the affected road closed for restoration work, particularly at Marapallam where many trees were uprooted.
Following heavy rains, the district administration declared holiday to schools in Kundah, Udhagamandalam, Kotagiri and Coonoor Taluks. Meanwhile, the regional weather office forecast light to moderate rain at a few places over south Tamil Nadu and at isolated places over the northern parts and Puducherry on Tuesday. According to the regional weather office, Mettupalayam received the highest rainfall of 18 cm, followed by Coonoor (Nilgiris) and Palaviduthi (Karur) with 13 cm each.