Madurai

Southern districts gear up for ‘Burevi’

Country boat fishermen packed up their nets and moved them to safety at Terespuram coast in Thoothukudi on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: N_RAJESH

Belying all weather predictions of heavy rains induced by Cyclone ‘Burevi’ in the southern districts from Wednesday onwards, none of the four districts received even a mild drizzle throughout a sultry day.

Though the sky remained overcast throughout the day, the cool north-east wind was absent on Wednesday. The ‘calm before the storm’ was something unusual to the residents, who badly missed the incessant drizzle that drenches the coastal districts during weather systems like low pressure or deep depression.

The district administration was busy alerting the teams deployed at several places based on the weather predictions received here.

Monitoring Officer M. Karunakaran, District Collector V. Vishnu and Superintendent of Police N. Manivannan visited Koottapuli, where a relief centre has been established to accommodate the people to be evacuated from coastal hamlets possibly affected by the cyclone-induced downpour.

Dr. Karunakaran said the all precautionary measures had been taken to face any eventuality and all basic requirements would be at relief centres including food, medical care and other facilities.

“All irrigation tanks – both system and rain-fed tanks – had been brought under constant monitoring as heavy downpour has been predicted,” said Dr. Karunakaran.

Mr. Vishnu said ‘fever clinics’ had been established in all relief centres where the evacuated people would be settled down until normalcy returns.

Following instructions from the district administration, fishermen of the 13 coastal hamlets of the district have moved their fiberglass boats and the fishnets to safety as the sea would be rough over the next 48 hours due to strong winds and downpour.

In Thoothukudi, Minister for Information Kadambur C. Raju visited the cyclone warning centre at the Collectorate and the relief centre at St. Joseph’s Girls’ Higher Secondary School at Cruzpuram in the night along with Collector K. Senthil Raj.

Superintendent of Police, Thoothukudi S. Jayakumar visited Terespuram, a hamlet situated very close to the shoreline in insanitary conditions and met the police personnel deployed there. The police personnel helped the fishermen move the fiberglass country boats and fishnets to safety.

While the two scheduled flights from Chennai and Bengaluru landed at Thoothukudi airport on Wednesday forenoon as usual, the two flights to be operated to Chennai in the afternoon were cancelled. However, a special flight was operated from Chennai that landed at Thoothukudi at 11.15 a.m. returned to the State capital with passengers, who had booked their tickets for the afternoon flight.

“All the four flights to be operated from Thoothukudi to Chennai and Bengaluru on Thursday have been cancelled due to inclement weather predictions,” said N. Subramanian, Director, Thoothukudi Airport.

The VOC Port had hoisted danger signal number 6 in the seaport on Thursday even as the cyclone was slowly nearing Thoothukudi coast.

Of the 172 mechanised boats from Kanniyakumari district involved in multi-day deep sea stay fishing, only 24 boats alone could not be contacted as these vessels are now fishing beyond Lakshadweep. While 48 vessels have reached the nearest fishing harbours in the west coast after the crew was alerted about the cyclone, the remaining 100 boats are on their way back to the shores.

“All the boats are expected to reach the harbours before Thursday (December 3) morning,” a fisheries department official said.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 12:41:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/southern-districts-gear-up-for-burevi/article33233292.ece

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