Rains leave 51 dead in Tamil Nadu (Lead)

November 27th, 2008 - 6:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Nov 27 (IANS) Even as cyclone “Nisha” crossed the coast near Nagappattinam in central Tamil Nadu’s eastern coast, heavy rains during the last four days have left at least 51 people dead and almost 1,000 injured in the state, an official statement said Thursday.The statement released after a cabinet meeting here said Rs.1 billion have been set apart by the government at the outset to alleviate the sufferings of the affected persons, numbering 135,084. The next of kin of those who lost their lives will be given an ex-gratia payment of Rs.200,000.

“Cyclone “Nisha” has weakened since it crossed the coast and is now moving in the northeast direction. Rains will, however, persist for another 24 hours,” regional meteorological director Ramanan told reporters.

The cabinet meeting, presided over by the Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, observed one minute’s silence for those who lost their lives due to the heavy rains and during the terrorist attacks in Mumbai Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, rains continued to lash the state for the fifth day, throwing life out of gear.

Traffic in Chennai came to a virtual standstill after the sluices of an overflowing Chembarambakkam Lake, one of the main catchment areas supplying water to the city were opened flooding several southern areas.

Cooum and Adyar, the two rivers flowing through the city were swollen resulting in huts situated along their embankments being inundated. Standing paddy crops in four districts spread over 250,000 hectares are also rotting in water-logged fields.

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