Rain claims 103 lives in Tamil Nadu so far


Chennai : Five days of heavy downpour due to the cyclone Nisha in Tamil Nadu had so far claimed 103 lives, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said here Saturday.

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The excessive rainfall had also claimed the lives of 450 cattle besides damaging 50,890 houses, he said in a statement.

He said roads to the length of 6,700 KM had been damaged, 328 lakes breached, 687 bridges collapsed and 402 government buildings damaged in the rains.

Standing crops in 5,52,290 hectare were submerged affecting over seven lakh (1 lakh=100,000) farmers in the state, he said.

Government officials right from the level of Chief Secretary to Village Administrative officers were fully involved in the relief work, he said while disputing AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa’s charge that relief work had not started.

As many 2,099 relief centres had been opened, sheltering 10,19,400 persons. As part of immediate relief, the government had disbursed Rs 2,000 each to the affected family, he said adding that yesterday alone Rs 75 lakh was given.

Even before full reports of the damages came, the government had sanctioned Rs 100 crore (1 crore=10 million) as the first instalment to provide relief, Karunanidhi said.

“We have taken timely action to assess the full damage and send it to the Centre seeking funds from Calamity Relief Fund. We will also plead our case before the Central team, which will come to assess the damage”, he said.