Power restored in areas with underground cable connection

Various government agencies on Saturday were struggling to restore normality after cyclone Thane wrecked havoc destroying houses, disrupting power, communication systems and toppling hundreds of trees on Friday.

Toll in the cyclone crossed seven with reports of a 65-year-old woman getting killed when a tree fell on her thatched house at Ariyur. The victim, Lakshmi, was living alone in her house and locals found her dead on Saturday, officials in the Revenue Department said.

A few people who were housed in shelter homes have started moving out but authorities continued to provide them food packets. Food was also being supplied to people living in affected areas, especially coastal and rural villages.

A day after the storm battered the region, which according to old timers was unprecedented, men attached to several departments were seen trying to restore power, communication system and clearing main roads of uprooted trees. Residents heaved a sigh of relief as power supply was restored in areas where underground cable connection exist.

But, it would take days before power supply is restored in the entire region.

An official in the Electricity Department said power supply has been restored in majority of the areas in town and suburban areas. In these areas, wherever there are individual fault, repair work would be carried out based on complaints. In rural areas that are thickly populated, power supply would be restored in three to four days. In areas with less population, it would take more time. More than 70 transformers have been completely damaged in rural areas, the official said.

Personnel from mainly the Forest, Fire and Public Work Departments, after hours of toil, cleared trees from the main thoroughfares. Firemen told The Hindu that they have removed around 60 trees in the Boulevard area so far.

Initial assessment by the Forest Department revealed that more than 160 trees were uprooted in the boulevard and on main roads, said Deputy Conservater of Forest A. Anil Kumar. The total trees lost could be more than 1,000, he added.

Mr. Kumar said thousands of birds perished along with mangrove forests at Ariankuppam and Thengaithittu. “Thousands of crows and birds such as Indian Pond Herons and Cormorants were killed and mangroves in around 100 acres of land got completely destroyed,” he said. The storm also killed a peacock and four spotted deer housed on the premises of Forest Department office, he said.