36 killed as heavy rains continue in Tamil Nadu

November 26th, 2008 - 6:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Nov 26 (IANS) At least 36 people were killed as heavy rains continued to lash Tamil Nadu for the fourth consecutive day Wednesday, officials said.The deaths occurred due to house collapses, electrocution and drowning in flash floods in seven coastal districts of the state since Sunday. The toll had risen by 16 since Tuesday, according to statements issued by various administrative units.

The met office here predicted that cyclonic storm ‘Nisha’ would cross the central eastern coast of the state between Vedaranyam and Nagappattinam, 300 km south of here, by Wednesday evening.

Schools remained closed for the third day in as many as eight districts including the capital.

Nagappattinam Collector M. Jayaraman told IANS that over 10,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas near the coast to safer places.

“While we have evacuated over 10,000 persons from low-lying areas, reports have been sent to the headquarters about the losses to agricultural lands inundated by the heavy rains. At this point in time over 24,000 hectares of standing paddy crops are under water,” Jayaraman said.

Winds with speeds of over 80 kmph are battering the coast between Vedaranyam and Cuddalore. Electricity has been cut off in at least four coastal districts to prevent electrocution, officials said.

District administrations in Cuddalore, Thanjavur, Nagappattinam and Tiruvarur said farmers’ estimated losses due to water-logged fields may have crossed over Rs.400 million.

Flooding of two open-pit lignite mines in the public sector Neyveli Lignite Corporation, 200 km south of here, has resulted in a reduction of power generated from three of its thermal stations, officials added.

The power plants are generating a little over 600 MW against an installed capacity of 2,450 MW, they added.

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