CUDDALORE/VILLUPURAM/PUDUCHERRY: Coastal districts in northern parts of the State witnessed heavy downpour, thanks to cyclone Burevi. Low-lying areas across Villupuram, Cuddalore, and the Union Territory of Puducherry went under water. In Cuddalore, the impact was much more than what was felt during Nivar last week.
Two persons – a 55-year-old-woman and a 10-year-old girl–died after parts of their houses collapsed in the district. Another 35-year-old woman, who was injured in a similar wall collapse accident, was admitted to a private hospital. Several trees and lamp-posts were uprooted by strong winds and heavy downpour.
In the district, Chidambaram received the highest rainfall (340mm), followed by Kothavachery (335mm), and Annamalai Nagar (329.4mm). Water bodies are brimming in and around the district, posing threat to people living in low-lying areas and along the channels. The Veeranam Lake has reached its full capacity, said officials.
Over 72,774 people in the district have been evacuated and moved to 288 relief camps. “As more rainfall has been predicted, we are continuing with mitigation measures,” said Raja Gopala Sunkara, the additional district collector and project director of DRDA. People living within half a kilometre from the coastline are being moved. We are also shifting those living in huts and thatched-roof houses to camps.” District collector Chandra Sekhar Sakhamuri visited the flooded areas.
“Flood alert had been given to the public through the local bodies on Thursday. The required JCP, generators and others have been placed at village levels to avoid delay of any sort. One National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team is already deployed on the ground. Four more will be added as per the State government’s order. The capacity of waterbodies are continuously monitored and excess water is let out to other channels, especially from Veeranam,” he said.
In Villupuram, too, several low-lying settlements have gone under water. “We tried to scoop out water from our houses by mugs and buckets while the officials helped in draining water from the streets day after Nivar hit us. However, for the past two days, there is even more water logged in our streets” says K Kuppusamy, a street vendor and resident from Thiru Vi Ka Road. Over 10,000 acres of paddy and black gram had been damaged due to the rains, said official sources.
In Puducherry, areas including Indira Gandhi square, Rainbow Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Anna Nagar and Beach Road have been flooded. Chief Minister V Narayanasamy along with officials waded through the water to review the situation. Shops in the basement areas were flooded with water on Misson Street. Puducherry received 138 MM of rainfall in the last 24 hours ending at 0830 AM, even as the rain continues. In the last 48 hours, the UT had received 21.4 cms of rainfall.