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Heavy storm wreaks havoc in Kollam

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STORM HIT: A jackfruit tree that got uprooted and fell over a house at Maruthadi in a storm that hit Kollam on Thursday.
STORM HIT: A jackfruit tree that got uprooted and fell over a house at Maruthadi in a storm that hit Kollam on Thursday.

Staff Reporter

Two killed, as many injured, 60 houses damaged

KOLLAM: Heavy storm wreaked havoc in Kollam district early on Thursday morning killing two persons and injuring two others, besides damaging more than 60 houses and uprooting several trees.

The deceased were identified as Ratnamma, 65, and her son Raju, 40, living at Padaram, near Sasthamcotta. At 2 a.m. on Thursday, wind in excess of 65 km an hour tore off roofs of many houses, uprooted trees and damaged electrical lines leaving almost the entire district in darkness. The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and Fire and Rescue Service offices reported receiving hundreds of calls for help mostly from the coastal areas.

Raju was killed when he came in contact with a live electric wire outside his house where a tree fell over an electric feeder line that got snapped. Ratnamma, who came to his rescue, also died from electrocution.

The government announced a relief of Rs.2 lakh and the district administration sanctioned an addition relief of Rs.4,000 to the next of kin of the deceased.

Two siblings at Mulavana were injured when a tree uprooted in the storm fell over their house. Both were admitted to a private hospital here where they had been declared out of danger. The district administration sanctioned a relief of Rs.1,000 each for them.

Chief Engineer of Kollam Electrical Circle K. Prabhkaran Nair said the KSEB suffered a loss of Rs.35 lakh. The district administration put the loss suffered to houses at Rs.2.82 lakh.

Coastal areas of the district were the worst-hit.

Mr. Nair said that feeder lines got snapped at 623 points. Trees fell over electric lines at 686 locations. As many as 115 electric posts and 122 insulators were damaged and another 175 posts were uprooted. Restoration work by the KSEB began on a war footing by early morning on Thursday.

Three to four teams were behind the restoration work at each of the sections of the KSEB in the district and by evening 90 per cent of the supply had been restored.

Mr. Nair, however, said stray complaints were coming in on Thursday evening. The supply would be fully restored only by Friday noon. He wanted members of the public to inform the KSEB about power disruption at Ph: 2763114.

In Kollam taluk, 33 houses were damaged. Revenue officials put the loss at Rs.1.99 lakh. In Karunagapally taluk, 24 houses were damaged, in Kottarakara four and in Pathanapuram one.

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