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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cyclone Laila - SYMA and temple tank

Cyclonic Storm Laila (JTWC designation: 01B) is the first tropical cyclone of the 2010 North Indian Ocean cyclone season and is the first cyclonic storm to affect India in May since the 1990 Andrah Pradesh cyclone. It is currently intensifying and tracking toward southeastern India. A cyclone warning (Red message) has been given.

According to IMD reports, the severe cyclonic storm ‘LAILA’ remained practically stationary and lay centred at 1730 hrs IST of today, the 19th May 2010 over westcentral and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal near latitude 14.00N and long. 81.50E, about 150 km northeast of Chennai, 250 km south-southeast of Machilipatnam and 500 km south-southwest of Vizag. This is expected to intensify further and move slowly in a northwesterly to northerly direction and cross Andhra Pradesh coast between Kavali and Kakinada, close to Machilipatnam by afternoon/evening of 20th May 2010.

Before hurtling to Indian east coast, it had lashed Srilanka displacing lakhs of people, triggering floods, delaying flights and submerging many areas. In Tamil nadu, heavy rains battered the coastal areas and the Capital Chennai had incessant rain fall.

As you might recall, during Nov 2009, SYMA in coordination with Sri Parthasarathi Swami temple authorities taken up the cleaning of temple tank. For an Organisation to which cleanliness is close to heart, the effort in preserving the tank was an obvious task. There were years when drinking water became scarce and the citizens of Chennai woke up during nights running behind tanker lorries for their share of water. For a city which has no flowing rivers, storage of rain water is of great relevance. The mythological ‘kairavani pushkarini’ , a pond of lily and lotus was taken care of by SYMA who intensely implemented the rain water harvesting programme. This was the first step in augmenting the water table in the locality which has yielded handsome results. By the efforts of SYMA and with the active participation of Chennai Corporation, now all streets are connected to the temple tank and the rain water gets collected here.

The huge cement concrete slabbed tank over the past few years had accumulated lot of dirt and a massive cleaning campaign was undertaken during Nov. 2009. The entire water was drained out and tank was cleaned using giant machines.

The day’s rain has raised immensely the water level which was drying up due to the scorching heat that Chennai has been experiencing this summer, especially for the last fortnight. Water filling in is a great sight for the eyes and here are a couple of photos of the tank taken today by one of our members.

A tank replete with water certainly augurs well for the residents.

In service to the society – Sampathkumar S (presently Secretary of SYMA)

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