At least 31 people were killed in the past two days in rain related incidents, including flooding in Tamil Nadu as the North East Monsoon continued to be active in several parts of the state.
The worst affected Cuddalore District accounted for 27 deaths due to drowning amid serious disruption in the basic infrastructure, including power supply, prompting Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to depute a team of ministers and officials there to supervise relief work.
"Due to the floods 27 persons have lost their lives in Cuddalore District," Jayalalithaa said in a statement here today.
Four people were killed due to wall collapse and electrocution following heavy rains. Two deaths were in Kanchipuram and one each in Cuddalore and Tiruvannamalai Districts. So far, the state has witnessed 31 deaths due to rain related incidents.
A report from Salem quoting officials said the hill resort town of Yercaud was completely cut off due to heavy rains in Salem district, where power supply was also affected.
Landslides have been reported in many places in the ghat section there and PWD officials said it would take a minimum of one month to complete repair works.
The Chief Minister said top officials headed by senior IAS officer Gagan Deep Singh Bedi are camping in Cuddalore to oversee relief operations.
She said 2000 Electricity Board workers had been sent to the district from neighbouring districts for restoration work.
"Power supply has been restored in 430 of the 683 village panchayats," she said.
Earlier in the day, Jayalalithaa held a meeting with top officials to review the overall situation.
Tamil Nadu usually receives 440 mm of rains during the North East monsoon season between October and December.
However in the past three days alone 300 mm rainfall has been recorded due to a deep depression. "On an average Cuddalore district gets 697 mm rain. So far the district has got 500 mm rains," the Chief Minister said.
Jayalalithaa said that as part of relief work in Cuddalore district, common kitchens have been set up and 29,000 people housed in safe locations.
Measures to prevent infectious diseases are on with 37 mobile medical camps in operation. As many as 90 veterinary medical teams are on the job. Damaged roads are being rebuilt by the Highways Department.
"After the flood waters recede I have ordered disbursement of compensation for crop loss after a proper assessment of the damages," she said.
A total of 100 fishing boats (vallam) were washed away into the sea due to floods in Gedilam river in Cuddalore district, of which 40 have been located so far with Coast Guard support and efforts to retrieve them are on, she said.
Earlier, she had condoled the death of the victims and announced a financial assistance of Rs four lakh each to the next of kin of those killed.
Rains continue to pound several parts of the State and the regional weather office has forecast rain or thundershowers at many places over Tamil Nadu on Thursday.