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Rajnath reviews relief operation in TN, Andhra

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday reviewed the relief operations in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh where cyclone Vardah made landfall, and ordered the Inter-Ministerial Central team be kept ready to be sent to Tamil Nadu immediately on the state government’s request.

Taking stock of the situation in a high level meeting, he “expressed his satisfaction on the preparedness of the Central and State agencies in handling the devastating cyclone which has resulted in minimising casualties”, an official statement said.

The meeting was attended by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Member Secretary, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Director General of R.K. Pachnanda and senior Home Ministry officers.

Pachnanda informed the Home Minister about the deployemnt of his force in the disaster hit states and the relief work done by them.

Eight NDRF teams consisting of 268 rescuers along with 29 boats had been deployed in Tamil Nadu, while three more teams consisting of 108 rescuers along with 15 boats have been sent to Chennai while six teams consisting of 205 rescuers along with 20 boats have been deployed in Andhra Pradesh.

According to the NDRF DG, the force are removing road blocks.

A government statement said a total 297 relief centers had been opened and 104 are in operation in Tamil Nadu as per status report at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

“A total of 13,578 people have been evacuated to shelters and human losses reported 16, hut damages 55, trees fallen 9,154, electrical poles damaged 5,200, transformers damaged 71 and 152 of 312 blocked roads have been cleared,” the statement said.

It said that a total of 59 relief centres were in operation and 10,960 persons have been evacuated from vulnerable or low lying areas in Andhra Pradesh.

In Chittoor, two persons were killed, 391 villages affected, 602 poles fallen, 12 trees uprooted. All uprooted trees have been cleared and lifting of poles is in progress, it further said.

“The system is very likely to continue to move west-sothwestwards and weaken gradually into a well marked low pressure area during next six hours,” it said.

It also added that the flights had also become operational at Chennai Airport since Tuesday morning.

–IANS