Priests to express solidarity with cyclone-hit people at Chellanam

Concern over alleged move to close down relief camp

December 07, 2017 12:31 am | Updated 12:31 am IST - Kochi

Chellanam Janakeeya Samithi, which is spearheading the protest of people affected by cyclone Ockhi, is gearing up to intensify the agitation by mobilising more people from Thursday.

The organisation has solicited the support of the Church and voluntary organisations for its cause.

“Priests from Kochi and Alappuzha dioceses will fast in a show of solidarity with the affected people on Thursday. We are concerned about authorities prematurely closing down the relief camp before the cyclone-hit houses are made liveable. We cannot be evicted but will have to be arrested to remove us from the camp,” said Jerwin Joseph, convener of the Samithi. That holiday for the school where the camp is being run has been declared only till Wednesday has led to the apprehension. However, revenue officials said that there was no such move to arbitrarily close down the camp and that the holiday for the school would be further extended if the situation so demanded.

The sole camp at St. Mary’s H.S.S in Chellanam had 160 occupants as on Wednesday while the camp at Nayarambalam had 125 others. Meanwhile, the relay fast by inmates at the Chellanam camp continued on Wednesday as well.

Control room

A State-level control room to coordinate the efforts of the Joint Operation Centre (JOC) formed to trace fishermen missing in the aftermath of cyclone Ockhi was opened here on Wednesday. The functioning of the control room will be coordinated by the representatives of the police, Disaster Management Authority, revenue, health, fire and fisheries departments and Tamil Nadu government. The helpline numbers are 7902200300, 7902200400, and 0484-2423513. The JOC comprising representatives of the police, revenue and fisheries departments, Coast Guard and Navy continues to be engaged in intensified search operations to trace missing boats and fishermen.

The post-mortem of four dead bodies was completed and DNA samples collected to identify the victims.

Damaged houses

District Collector K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla has asked officials to collect data of houses fully or partially damaged in the swell waves. A separate team will be formed for the purpose. Based on the data collected, an estimate will be drawn up and steps will be taken to release compensation at the earliest.

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