Heavy rains batter TN, Kerala

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 01 Dec 2017 09:01:39


Kanyakumari / Thiruvanathapuram,

Kanyakumari, Tuticorin and Tirunelveli districts bear the brunt of cyclone ‘Ochki’

Cyclone expected to hit Lakshadweep islands on Dec 2

TORRENTIAL rains pounded southern districts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala crippling life and claiming eight lives — four each in the two States — as a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal intensified into cyclonic storm ‘Ockhi’ on Thursday.
Both the state governments put the official machinery on high alert as the cyclone, lying 60 kms south of Kanyakumari, was forecast to dump more rains in south Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the next 24 hours.

The storm was expected to move toward the Lakshadweep archipelago and hit the islands on December 2.
A bulletin issued by the India Meteorological Department said gale wind speed reaching 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph was very likely along and off South Kerala during next 48 hours and along and off south Tamil Nadu during next 24 hours.

Fishermen in coastal regions in southern parts of the two states were advised not to venture into sea for the next 24 hours, it said.
Madhavan Rajeevan, Secretary in the Earth Sciences ministry, said in New Delhi that Lakshadweep in the southern part of the Arabian Sea will start experiencing heavy rainfall and strong winds from tomorrow. “It will hit the islands on December 2,” Rajeevan said.
Tamil Nadu Government deployed state and national disaster response force teams in Kanyakumari district, which bore the brunt of the rain fury.

It asked officials to shelter people living in low lying areas in the southern districts in multi-purpose evacuation centres.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami, who reviewed the situation, said in Chennai state Ministers and senior IAS officials have been assigned to affected districts to monitor relief work.
Also, electricity personnel with necessary equipment have been rushed to restore power distribution that was affected due to trees falling over electric poles, Palaniswami said.
Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management R B Udhaya Kumar, deputed to Kanyakumari to take up relief work on a war footing, said people in the affected areas have been shifted to safer places.

He said nearly 3,000 electric poles have been uprooted in the district, affecting power supply. Besides Kanyakumari, Tuticorin and Tirunelveli districts were among those battered by the rains.
Educational institutions remained closed in southern districts such as Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Viruthunagar and Thanjavur. Three men and a woman were  killed when trees fell on them in different areas in Kanyakumari district, officials said.