Gaja: Central team holds discussions with EPS, top officials

Members of the Central team in discussion with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at the Secretariat in Chennai today.

Chennai: The Central team of experts, who have reached the city to assess the damage caused by Cyclone Gaja, met Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and key officials at the Secretariat here.

The purpose of the meetings was to get information before leaving for the districts and know the important places to visit and understand the devastation better.

The seven-member Central team will be starting their assessment of the cyclone-hit areas from Pudukottai later today. They will move on to Thanjavur and continue the assessment there from 7 am tomorrow. By evening 3.30, they will visit and check out Tiruvarur.

On Monday, from 7.30 am to 1 pm, the team will assess the most affected district of Nagapattinam. At 2.30 pm, they will be at Karaikal, and by 5 pm, reach Puducherry. They will assess as a team travelling through the roads.

Earlier today, they interacted with Tamilnadu Revenue Administration, Disaster Management and Mitigation Department Principal Secretary / Commissioner K Satyagopal and Commissioner of Disaster Management Rajendra Ratnoo at a star hotel in Chennai.

Later, they also met the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, ministers D Jayakumar, C Ve Shanmugam and R B Udhayakumar, and other officials at the Secretariat and got to know more about the situation prevailing in the cyclone-hit areas.

CENTRE’S BACKING

After assessing the affected areas in Nagapattinam district, BJP state president, Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, said, “The help rendered by the Central government is like human breathing. We can’t see it. But, when we feel it, we understand it.”

RAIL BLOCK

Alleging that government relief and restoration activities have still not reached them, five villagers took to the railway tracks at Vridhachalam in protest.

FISHERMEN PLIGHT

With rain lingering on in the delta regions, fishermen didn’t venture into the sea for the 16th day. A holiday was declared for schools in Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Tiruchi and Dharmapuri districts. Colleges too remained closed at Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur districts as per the Collectors’ orders.

IT’S POURING

A Met official said, “The low pressure area over interior Tamilnadu and neighbourhood now lies as a trough of low at mean sea level over southeast Arabian sea and adjoining Maldives – Lakshadweep area. Also, a trough in easterlies runs from Comorin area to interior Tamilnadu. In wake of this, heavy to very heavy rain lashed isolated places over south coastal Tamilnadu and delta regions. But rains are likely to reduce in the next 24 hours.”

Unexpected rain beat down on the coasts near the delta at a time when the low pressure moved out of Tamilnadu and weakened. Rameswaram received 23 cm of intense showers overnight. The Met department said rain will reduce over time today.

NT Bureau