Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam wrote to Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday evening, seeking the centreâ€™s assistance for the relief and rehabilitation work following the havoc wrecked by Cyclone Vardah.
The CM said that extensive damage has been caused to huts, drinking water infrastructure and sewerage facilities and that a detailed exercise to assess the damages and the requirement of funds for immediate relief and restoration is being carried out. Since the damage to various infrastructure assets and properties has been extensive, the detailed assessment is expected to take 2 or 3 days, he said. State Government will present a detailed Memorandum on the extensive damages suffered due to the cyclonic storm Vardah in the next few days.
In the meantime, the CM has asked that the centre â€śdepute a team from the Government of India to study the extensive damages caused by the cyclonic storm.
Further, as a number of relief, rehabilitation and immediate reconstruction measures have to be undertaken by the Government of Tamil Nadu along with the urban and rural local bodies in the area affected by the cyclone, which is beyond the funds available in the State Disaster Response Fund, I request you to urgently sanction the release of an â€śon accountâ€ť payment of Rs.1000 crores from the National Disaster Response Fund to the Government of Tamil Nadu to enable immediate relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction measures to proceed expeditiously.â€ť
Vardah, the severe cyclonic storm had a landfall near Chennai Port, and has caused unprecedented damage to infrastructure and properties. At the time of landfall, Chennai city and the Districts of Thiruvallur and Kancheepuram witnessed very heavy rain fall and very strong winds with a velocity of 130-140 kms per hour, according to the government.
16 lives have been lost due to the cyclone. The cyclone uprooted more than 12,000 trees disrupting traffic in the entire city and its suburbs.
It caused extensive damage to road infrastructure including attendant road furniture. Due to the extensive damage caused to transmission lines, sub-stations, transformers and distribution lines, power supply was cut off in almost the entire city of Chennai as well as large parts of Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur Districts. More than 10,000 electric poles have been mangled and more than 800 transformers damaged.