100 fishing boats missing in TN; cyclonic winds claim one life
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Last Updated: Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 17:49
Rameswaram (TN): An unspecified number of fishermen, who put out to sea in over 100 boats from this region on Monday, are missing even as strong winds lashing coastal Tamil Nadu under the influence of cyclone "Laila" claimed one life near here, officials said on Wednesday.

Fishermen of Pamban, Uchipuli and nearby areas who ventured into sea on May 17 night in boats with outboard motors were missing, fisheries department officials said.

It was not known how many fishermen were onboard these boats which were not capable of withstanding the impact of cyclonic wind and rough sea, they said, adding a search was on to locate them.

Various coastal areas of Tamil Nadu have been experiencing rains and gutsy winds as the cyclone, "Laila", lay centered in the Bay of Bengal, 190 km east-northeast of Chennai, and is likely to cross Andhra Pradesh coast tomorrow.

A 52-year old fisherman drowned in sea current at Tirupalakudi village near here while trying to retrieve his boat which got snapped from its mooring following heavy wind.

A report from Cuddalore said three fishermen of Devanampattinam were missing after they ventured into sea in a fibre boat last afternoon, triggering tension in the hamlet.

Search operations could not be carried out immediately in view of high tides and very rough sea, officials said.

In another incident, four fishermen were injured when five boats capsized when they were heading towards the shore in Cuddalore district, they said.

The strong cyclonic winds sweeping coastal areas of the state since yesterday left 140 boats damaged in Ramanathapuram district.

Officials said 40 country boats anchored along Mandapam coast were reduced to single planks, while 100 boats, including an Indian Coastguard vessel and two boats of Coastal Security Police, were damaged in Pamban.

State Slum Clearance Minister Suba Thangavelan, accompanied by District Collector T N Hariharan, visited the affected areas in Pamban and Mandapam.

Thangavelan said full compensation would be given to fishermen whose boats were destroyed while repair charges would be given for partially damaged vessels.


First Published: Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 17:49

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