Law enforcing agencies across the State were put on high alert after the number of deaths due to the recent rains in Tamil Nadu touched 40 on Saturday. Vigil was intensified in flood-prone areas, railway tracks and major bridges, police sources said.

Director General of Police K. Ramanujam said contingency plans were drawn up in all districts and police were prepared to handle any exigency. Though there was no serious flood situation anywhere as on Saturday night, all Commissioners of Police/Superintendents of Police were alerted to keep sufficient manpower to launch relief/rescue operation in the event of an eventuality.

“We have asked the police not to allow vehicles to ply through badly damaged roads or bridges. Areas prone to flooding have been identified and the police are also in touch with other agencies,” Mr. Ramanujam said.

Inspector General of Police (North Zone) C. Sailendra Babu said Disaster Management Teams were formed in six northern districts. Each team would comprise 11 police personnel, five fishermen and a boat equipped with rescue equipment.

Among the 40 deaths, Theni and Ariyalur reported three each. A majority of the 50 persons injured in the rains belonged to Thanjavur district. Inspector General of Police (South Zone) Rajesh Das, who is camping at Vaigai Dam, said he had assessed the flood situation and held discussions with Public Works Department (PWD) officials.

“We have shortlisted places prone to inundation by analysing the flood scenario in the last 30 years. An evacuation plan has been devised and police have identified temporary shelters close to vulnerable areas to accommodate victims in the event of floods. Efforts to strengthen embankments of tanks in the southern districts were on,” he said.

Inspector General of Police (Central Zone) K.C. Mahali said police teams were monitoring the flood situation in Karur, Tiruchi and Thanjavur districts round-the-clock. An alert was issued to all police stations in these districts to keep adequate manpower as standby.

In Chennai city, Commissioner of Police J.K. Tripathy said police were coordinating with the Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Service personnel and other agencies such as the electricity board and corporation officials. Steps were taken to ensure that traffic was not affected due to the rains, he said.