As storm nears, Tamil Nadu ready with 5,000 camps, 400 rescue staff
Tamil Nadu’s department of revenue and disaster management has readied more than 5000 relief camps across the state to relocate people from low-lying areas
Tamil Nadu is on a pre-cyclone watch as a depression strengthened into a deep depression on Wednesday morning which lay centred at 8.30am about 770 km east-southeast of Chennai, weathermen said. This is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm this evening and reach the coast of north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh by Thursday morning.
“It will continue to move west-north westwards towards north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the subsequent 48 hours,” said a statement from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). So far, there has been rainfall in Tamil Nadu but light rain to moderate rain is expected over a few districts later on December 7.
“Under its influence light to moderate rainfall at most places is very likely over coastal Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal and heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places on December 8,” said S Balachandran, director, Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) in Chennai. Heavy rains have been forecast in 15 districts including Chennai from 8 to 10 December.
Tamil Nadu’s department of revenue and disaster management has readied more than 5000 relief camps across the state to relocate people from low-lying areas, the government said. The Greater Chennai Corporation has readied 169 relief centres and 807 water pumps in flood-prone areas to pump out rain water in the city.
12 teams of close to 400 personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deputed to districts of Chennai, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Cuddalore, Mayiladuthurai, Thiruvallur, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu and Villupuram. “State Emergency Operation Center and District level Emergency Operation Centers are operational round the clock with additional officers,” minister for revenue and disaster management, KKSSR Ramachandran said on Wednesday. “We have instructed Chennai corporation and all district collectors to form multi-sectoral Zonal Committees to monitor the affected areas regularly, establish mobile teams with tree cutters and other equipment to immediately remove fallen trees due to strong winds and keep adequate equipment. Teams should be set up to maintain power poles and conductors and repair damaged power lines.”
Strong wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph is likely over southern parts of coastal Tamil Nadu, said a statement from the RMC. On December 9, strong winds will prevail over northern parts of coastal Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal from morning, the RMC said and added that, “wind speed will gradually increase to gale wind speed of the order of 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph by the evening and continue till 10th morning.” Fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea until 10th December as the sea is expected to be rough. The state has also instructed local officials to continuously monitor reservoirs and dams and for adequate notice to be given to the public while discharging excess water.