Tamil Nadu government today said over 1,200 persons affected by Ockhi cyclone in Kanniyakumari and Tirunelveli districts have been lodged in relief camps, as Chief Minister K Palaniswami took stock of the situation. At a review meeting here, the Chief Minister asked officials to expedite all works undertaken in the affected areas, even as scores of personnel have been deployed to address various issues, including restoring the power network. As per the orders of the Chief Minister, 1,044 persons in Kanniyakumari have been lodged in 16 relief camps while the number was 205 in two camps in Tirunelveli, an official release said. To expedite relief works in worst affected Kanniyakumari district, two NDRF teams and seven of the state disaster response agency have been deputed. They, along with local officials, were rescuing people on a 'war-footing' from inundated areas, it said. In these two districts, besides Tuticorin, 579 trees had been uprooted and 329 of them have been cleared, with focus being given for national highways on 'war-footing' where traffic movement has resumed. Those on state highways will be removed by today, even as the Chief Minister has directed clearing the rest "quickly," the release said. Hundreds of personnel, including engineers, equipped with machinery were involved in this job. On the power front, infrastructure set up, including 4,000 high and low transmission towers and 50 km of power lines have been affected even as services of 11 sub-stations of each 110 kw were stopped following uprooting of trees. As many as 2,000 personnel under the supervision of 15 chief engineers were involved in restoring the lines while five sub-stations have resumed operations, it said. The rest will be restored by tonight, it added. To ensure supply of drinking water in areas suffering from power cuts in these districts, 100 diesel-run generators have been sent, it said. Medical teams were also monitoring the situation to prevent spread of any water-borne diseases while steps were on to provide supply of safe drinking water. Further, personnel of Tamil Nadu Fisheries Department and the Coast Guard have rescued 76 fishermen from 18 boats. A total of 106 of them had ventured into the sea in 29 boats and the Chief Minster has asked that the rest be rescued quickly.
Two Coast Guard ships have been pressed into service for this purpose, it added. Following the torrential downpour, many water bodies in the aforesaid districts were brimming and therefore the Chief Minister has asked all flood-prevention measures be in place. These included monitoring lakes and shutters of water bodies. Meanwhile, speaking to reporters at Coimbatore, the Chief Minister said senior IAS officials and Ministers have been deputed to Kanniyakumari to oversee rescue and rehabilitation efforts. He also denied any laxity in the rescue works.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)