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Chief Minister to tour flood-affected districts

Special Correspondent

Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard join rescue and rehabilitation efforts Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard join rescue efforts


  • People evacuated, moved to relief centres
  • Helicopters airdrop food packets
  • Enough stocks of rice in fair price shops



    REVIEW MEETING: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa holding a high-level flood relief review meeting at the Secretariat in Chennai on Friday. — Photo: V. Ganesan

    CHENNAI: The Air Force, the Navy and the Coast Guard were pressed into rescue and rehabilitation efforts in the rain-ravaged districts of Tamil Nadu on Friday. People in all marooned areas were evacuated and moved to relief centres. The Army has also been requisitioned to provide necessary assistance for rescue and relief operations in Cuddalore district. They supplemented the efforts of the officials of the departments of Revenue, Police, Fire and Rescue Services, Public Works and Highways who were actively involved in flood-relief efforts since Thursday.

    After a review meeting at the Secretariat, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa decided to undertake a tour of the flood-affected districts during the next three days.

    She will tour Cuddalore on Saturday, the central districts on Sunday, and the southern districts on Monday.

    Although the rains have abated in Tamil Nadu, unprecedented and extensive flooding was reported in 12 districts. In Cuddalore district, the water level in the Veeranam Tank reached the full tank level on Thursday. PWD officials have kept vigil at the tank and are closely regulating the water discharge. Huge quantities of water were let out through the surplus weir and the spillway constructed for extraordinary floods. Due to this, the Veeranam bund, which was under severe threat has been protected, according to an official press release.

    The road between the Veeranam Guest House and Chidambaram has been cut off due to heavy floods. The district administration has stocked enough quantities of rice in fair price shops in the villages. In addition, on the directions of Ms. Jayalalithaa, Air Force and Coast Guard helicopters have air dropped food packets in marooned areas. Due to heavy flow of water over the bridge between Bhuvanagiri and Keerapalayam and between Mayiladuthurai and Chidambaram, accessibility to Chidambaram town is affected.

    More than 500 passengers who were stranded on Thursday at the Sethiathope crossing, were rescued by boats. Even the 75 passengers left stranded overnight at the Sethiathope crossing were rescued on Friday morning. A Coast Guard ship with a helicopter on board, which was specially requisitioned, undertook air dropping of food packets in Parangipettai and Bhuvanagiri areas in Cuddalore district. Further, two Air Force helicopters arranged from Sulur Air Force Base undertook air dropping of food packets at Sethiathope and adjoining villages. The air dropping of food packets by these helicopters will continue for another two days.

    The Chief Minister has directed that more number of boats be pressed into service to reach marooned areas for supply of food packets. These boats have been instructed to carry petromax lamps and first-aid kits.

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