Major roads cleared in cyclone-hit areas, toll 47
District Collector V Amudhavalli put the toll caused by the cyclone in the district at 31, including ten women and two children, with delayed reports about five more deaths coming in from remote areas. The severe cyclonic storm had claimed 40 lives in Tamil Nadu and seven in Puducherry. Union Home Minister P Chidambaram who was slated to tour the cyclone-hit areas today cancelled his visit due to inclement weather and will now inspect the areas on Tuesday, Union Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy said.
It was a dismal new year dawn for the people as more than 18,000 in Cuddalore district and scores in Puducherry continued to be sheltered in government buildings, including schools, and marriage halls where they were being provided food and other essential items. Officials said 90 per cent of affected roads in Cuddalore district had been cleared for traffic, adding 20,000 litres of petrol was expected to reach here from Nagapattinam today.
They said supply of essential items such as milk and fuel, including kerosene, would normalised within two days while water and power would be restored within a week. Over 100 tanker lorries from Neyveli Lignite Corporation and Nellikuppam sugar factory besides those of the civic bodies had been pressed into service to provide water. They said Samba paddy crop on 20,000 hectares, due for harvest next week, in Chidambaram and Kattumanarkoil taluks had been submerged under water while cashew and jackfruit trees on 15,000 acres in Panruti taluk suffered damage.
A report from Puducherry said the union territory was limping back to normalcy though drinking water and power supply was not fully restored in most places and the work on removing uprooted trees was underway. Availability of milk continued to be affected but petrol supply has become normal.