After days of sticking to one figure, 265 deaths, announced during the lone press conference held last week, the State government today put the death toll at 347 due to floods in the State this north east monsoon.
Meanwhile, the Centre has announced the TN floods to be a ‘Çalamity of Severe Nature’ the day after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa wrote to the Prime Minister to declare it as a ‘National Calamity’.
According to an official release on Thursday, 347 lives have been lost in the period since October 1 throughout the State. As many as 3,889 heads of cattle have also been lost and over 1.16 lakh huts have been damaged in the State.
Several thousand people are being evacuated on a daily basis. As on Thursday, 17.64 lakh persons have been rescued, evacuated and accommodated in the 6,605 relief centres. An amount of Rs. 67.47 crore has been disbursed to 1.11 lakh families so far, the release said.
Facing flak from NGOs and volunteers, the government also released the list of relief co-ordinators in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur.
Contact numbers on portal
The officers and their contact numbers have been published in the government’s web portalwww.tn.gov.in.
Meanwhile, State Health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar kick-started the drive to provide bleaching powder and chlorine tablets to flood-hit areas through 100 autorickshaws with assistance from the local bodies.
The objective is to reach half a kg of bleaching powder and 20 chlorine tablets to every household affected in the floods along with awareness pamphlets.
Sanitary inspectors will explain to the people on how to use them. Apart from residential colonies, the awareness campaign will be taken up in bus termini and markets.
The government has also started a vaccination drive covering 26,000 sanitary workers involved in the conservancy work post-flooding. People requiring treatment could call the 24-hour helpline 104.
Ms. Jayalalithaa, as general secretary of the AIADMK, has ordered the party Parliamentarians to give Rs 1 crore each from their local area development funds. The Chief Secretary has been asked to provide the MPs information and relief and rehabilitation works, she said.
Meanwhile, the ruling AIADMK, that has come under criticism after lower level functionaries hijacked relief materials, has reportedly begun conducting relief works on its own. The party was carrying out relief work at R.K. Nagar Assembly constituency, Thousand Lights Assembly constituency, Tambaram and surrounding areas and in Thanjavur.