Cyclone Nargis triggers fears in Tamil Nadu

April 28th, 2008 - 10:27 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, April 28 (IANS) The weather bureau Monday predicted rain in Tamil Nadu following the development of cyclonic storm Nargis 700 km southeast of here in the Bay of Bengal, leaving many worried. According to Balachandran, the regional director of the meteorological office here, Cyclone Nargis will move in a north-westerly direction and may cross the coast anywhere between Nagappattinam in Tamil Nadu and Ongole in Andhra Pradesh.

Fishermen in Nagappattinam were a worried lot.

“Already we are facing starvation because the government has banned fishing in the name of helping reproduction of fish in our area. Now, if this cyclone hits our coast we will lose whatever is left of our livelihood,” said V. Karuppiah speaking on telephone from Nagappattinam where a level 3 warning was issued prohibiting fishing vessels from putting out to sea following prediction of the cyclonic storm.

“While we will be happy if this provides a respite from the sweltering heat here, knowing the condition of our storm water drains in Chennai, I am scared about the repercussions,” said R. Margabandhu, a senior bank official residing in Korattur, the city’s northern suburbs known for flooding during downpours.

P.K.R. Easwaran, a computer professional based in Tiruvanmiyur, a southern suburb here, felt people were “unnecessarily over-reacting”.

“On the last four occasions, the cyclonic storms have weakened and struck the southern coast of Andhra Pradesh. Instead of unnecessarily over-reacting to these tidings, one should wait for further developments,” Easwaran said.

Meanwhile, reports from Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Pudukottai, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Cuddalore and Kanchipuram districts besides the Union Territory of Puducherry have already indicated water-logging in low-lying areas following rains since Monday morning.

Farmers from Cuddalore, Puducherry, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Tirunelveli districts had claimed losses to standing crop due to off-season rains in February-March this year amounting to over Rs.16 billion only a month ago.

The outcome of a central government team’s probe is yet to be known.

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