CHENNAI THURSDAY NOVEMBER 26, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 18 LATE CITY EDITION MARADONA REUNITES WITH HAND OF GOD S W A R O O P S W A M I N AT H A N @ Chennai EVERY so often, an athlete shows the world the possibilities of talent. Every so often, an athlete shows the world that it is possible to inspire millions among millions. Every so often, an athlete shows the world it is possible to make athiests believe. Diego Armando Maradona made the world believe that he was a superior being, sent down to inspire, spread joy and elevate the potential of The Beautiful Game. On Wednesday, the Argentine great passed away after a heart attack following a brain surgery earlier this month. The 60-year-old’s death shocked not only the football world but the wider community as DIEGO MARADONA well. In a year that has brought about unprecedented chaos to the world, Maradona’s passing away will arguably be the single most piece of news that will reverberate with the most. That is the impact he had, from Buenos Aires to Brisbane and from Arctic to the Antartic. Walk around Asia or Europe or Africa or the Americas or Oceania and the chances of one OCT 30, 1960 NOV 25, 2020 coming across a mural of Maradona is very high. Even if he was a legend, a curly-haired freak of nature, people readily identified with him. Hailing from Villa Fiorita, one of Argentina’s poorer localities, he conquered the world in 1986. That he suffered from drug problems while shouldering the unreal expectations of a football-mad nation only embel- lished what he managed to do on a football field, his natural habitat. He will be live on in memories of videos describing his immortal abilities with a football. As he dribbled past the English side to score one of the most iconic goals ever at the 1986 World Cup, the commentator described it as: “what planet did you P13 come from”. Indeed. CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI IMD says even after landfall, the system is likely to maintain its intensity for about 6 hours Authorities said it would take three hours for the centre of the cyclone to cross the coast and reach land Chennai Gale wind speed reaching 65-75 kmph very likely to prevail over interior districts Puducherry Cuddalore Nagapattinam The storm is expected to cross the coast, 30 km north of Puducherry at around 2 am Fire officials rescue people affected by the flood due to incessant rains at Velacherry in Chennai on Wednesday | ASHWIN PRASATH NIVAR-AN, AS CHENNAI SPARED Cyclone passes through fresh path, avoiding Chennai & Delta districts E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai IT was a nail-biter, as the severe cyclonic storm Nivar kept shifting its movements and patterns – keeping both public and disaster managers on tenterhooks – until it made a landfall at 10.30 pm on Wednesday . As per the update received at 11.15 pm, the slow-moving storm is likely to cross the Tamil Nadu-Puducherry coast, 30 km north of Puducherry at around 2 am Thursday , . Despite the initial threats, the cyclone spared Chennai and the Delta districts by taking a new path. However, under the influence of the weather system, these districts received very heavy rainfall. As per the weather bulletin issued at 11.15 pm, “the storm was located 50 km east-northeast of Cuddalore, and 115 km away from Chennai.” Slow-moving system makes landfall at 10.30 pm; may cross coast at 2 am “It would take three hours for the centre of the cyclone to cross the coast and reach the land,” said S Balachandran, deputy director general of meteorology at RMC. “Wind speed would be around 120-130 kmph, gusting at 145 kmph. Even after landfall, the system is likely to maintain its cyclone intensity for about 6 hours and then weaken gradually.” Northern Tamil Nadu and Delta districts will continue to receive heavy rainfall, as will southern parts of Andhra Pradesh. In the last three days alone, Chennai has received over 30 cm of rainfall as a result of the cyclonic impact. Several areas of Chennai witnessed waterlogging despite high-technology machinery being deployed to clear out blockages. Low-lying areas and former lakebeds that have now turned into habitations were flooded. The airport was shut for 12 hours and small aircraft were moved to safer spots. Even before the actual storm hit, the city lost 80 trees to rain and strong winds. Addressing the media earlier in the evening, minister RB Udhayakumar said that over 1.2 lakh people have been shifted to relief camps from vulnerable areas in the Delta districts. “Two Naval ships have been roped in from Visakhapatnam, and are stationed off the TN coast, to deal with emergencies.” The minister said that 1.89 per cent of cellphone towers in the State have been affected by rains. However, as the optic fibre cable network has not faced any dis- Public holiday today in 16 districts of Tamil Nadu and in Puducherry ruptions, communication channels are still open in all areas. The fishing community in Nagapattinam and adjoining areas – which are still recovering from the impact of Gaja and Ockhi – expressed serious concerns about the impact of yet another cyclone. “We have not seen the waves rise this high ever before,” said Lakshmanan, a fisherman. “We faced severe losses during the last two cyclones and have just started rebuilding our lives. We cannot afford to lose once again,” he said. Most fishermen along the coast have brought their boats to the land using tractors. Based on the weather bulletin, the impact is unlikely to be severe in Nagapattinam this time. For latest updates, log onto www.newindianexpress.com 2 ships to assist relief works Level-9 warning issued at all 3 ports in Chennai 80 TREES 3 trains 10 boats Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami overseeing release of water from Chembarambakkam lake on Wednesday; the outflow increased from 1,000 cusecs to 5,000 cusecs later in the day CHENNAI AIRPORT REMAINS SHUT FOR 12 HOURS Chennai: The city airport remained shut for 12 hours, from 7 pm on Wednesday to 7 am on Thursday, in view of the cyclone’s landfall. According to an airport spokesperson, all aircraft operations at the airport will remain suspended. A decision to this effect was taken considering the safety of passengers and the severity of the cyclone. SC lifts Andhra HC’s media gag order on Amaravati land scam reportage A Supreme Court bench on Wednesday vacated a media gag order issued by the Andhra Pradesh High Court on reporting about a first information report (FIR) filed by the state’s Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in the Amaravati land scam case. The case became a hot potato as the FIR names former advocate general Dammalapati Srinivas and two daughters of a senior apex court judge. However, the bench did not lift the high court’s stay into the ACB probe. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan issued notice and slated the Indian Navy deploys partially on Thursday AMID intense rainfall, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday inspected the Chembarambakkam lake, from where surplus water was released for the first time since the 2015 floods. Speaking to reporters after meeting PWD officials, Palaniswami said the inflow into the lake as of 12 noon stood at 4,000 cusecs while 1,000 cusecs was being released. The storage level currently is at 21.5 feet. At around 6 pm, the release has been stepped up to 5,000 cusecs. With heavy rainfall, the inflow into the lake stood at 4,980 cusecs. From the Adhanur Lake, 2,000 cusecs is being released to Adyar River. In all, around 6,000 cusecs of water has been released into the Adyar. “Since the Adyar river has a capacity to carry about 60,000 cusecs of water, people need not fear about flooding. The government has taken all precautionary steps,” he said. Water stagnation was reported from over 30 low-lying areas in the city and the Corporation has been clearing it using high-power pumps. , Meanwhile, the Chief Minister has declared a public holiday on Thursday in 16 districts, that are affected by the cyclone. @ New Delhi of NDRF pressed into action in TN, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh Southern Railway cancels E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NDRF deployed in TN, 30 teams Pondy and AP to deal with cyclone aftermath ON WAR FOOTING uprooted in Chennai ahead of cyclone CHEMBARAMBAKKAM OPENED FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2015 matter for final hearing in January last week. It also asked the high court not to decide on Srinivas’ writ petition till it (SC bench) adjudicates the matter. During the hearing, senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan, appearing for the Andhra government, argued that the interim high court order barring probe and gagging the media, couldn’t have been passed at all. The writ petition by Srinivas, Dhavan said, alleged malafide but offered nothing on record to corroborate it. “This was an entirely a political writ petition against the CM and this government,” he emphasised. Pointing to suspicious transactions involving Srinivas and others, Dhavan said, “Should such a complaint be investigated or not? This is the simplest question here.” Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the former A-G, said, “My client is targeted because he was appearing for the (former) CM. This case reeks of malafide. This is worse than Emergency CBI did not do . anything. My reputation is being damaged.” Continued on: P9 SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARILY SPECIAL? Media can be gagged only if there is real and substantial risk of prejudice. “Is there something extraordinarily special in the plea that such orders had to be passed?” Dhavan asked City still receives very heavy rainfall, several low-lying areas submerged with 60 fishers still at sea off Karaikal coast 50,000 people moved to relief camps in Cuddalore Schools to remain shut till Nov 28 in Puducherry E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Puducherry/Chennai WITH the cyclone just hours away from making a landfall on Wednesday 30 teams of the National Disaster Response , Force were pressed into action across Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh to deal with eventualities. , Following a request from the UT administration, a 100personnel team of the Integrated Defence Staff was also sent from Chennai. About 50 km to the north and south of Puducherry may be affected during the landfall, and hence expert assistance has been sought, said officials. Ten helicop- 600 fishermen ters are on standby and will be de, moved to relief ployed as and when required, said camps in UT collector Purva Garg. There were 10 boats carrying 60 Puducherry: Around fishermen from Karaikal still at 600 fishermen and sea on Wednesday evening. Offi- their families were cials said that they had estab- moved to relief camps lished contact with them, and are after the rough sea on their way to the Karaikal coast. waves, about five to In case of difficulty they have six feet high, lashed been advised to reach Nagapatti- the coast. Over 75 nam, Jagadipattinam or other boats were lifted places. So far, 90 boats carrying using cranes and over 500 fishermen have been moved to safe places. brought back to shores. “Each and every boat has been accounted and there is none missing in the sea,” said officials. Meanwhile, in Chennai, at least five rain-related deaths and 10 accidents were reported. In Cuddalore, close to 50,000 people have been moved from vulnerable areas to over 233 relief camps in the district. The Cuddalore port has raised the danger level of the storm to 10 on a scale of 11. Several villages in the district plunged into darkness on Wednesday evening as officials disconnected power as a precautionary measure. MORE ON: P2,3,4 EXPRESS READ Prefix ‘0’ to call mobile numbers New Delhi: Starting January 15, you will need to prefix ‘0’ to mobile numbers if you are calling from a landline. The move is to free up sufficient numbering resources for future use, the Department of Communications said ‘Jallikattu’ is India’s official Oscar entry Kochi: Malayalam feature film ‘Jallikattu’ has been selected as India’s official entry for the International Feature Film category at the 93rd Academy Awards, the Film Federation of India announced on Wednesday. Jallikattu was chosen from 27 entries across Hindi, Marathi and other languages | P5 Congress loses its best backroom crisis manager R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi A H M E D P a t e l ’s d e m i s e couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Congress, which is struggling to deal with the revolt by a group of veteran leaders seeking radical changes in the party. His death could, however, pave the way for organisational and generational changes in the party . Patel, 71, who passed away in a Gurugram hospital on Wednesday following complications related to Covid-19, was known for his political acumen to take everyone, including the warring young and old guards, together. According to sources, he worked hard to settle the internal strife within the party till his last. When voices were raised against the party high command, Patel ensured to reach out to the dissenting leaders who wrote to party chief Sonia Gandhi. Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot was candid to say that in the current situation, Congress AHMED PATEL AUG 21, 1949 NOV 25, 2020 will miss Patel even more. Senior Cong ress leader P Chidambaram said, “Whence do we find another like him?” When the Rajasthan politi- cal crisis was at peak, Patel was holding back-channel talks to manage the situation arising out of rebellion by Sachin Pilot. He was part of the three-member committee that looked into issues between Pilot and Gehlot. Patel was part of all major decision-making committees in the Congress. “The road to 10 Janpath (Sonia Gandhi’s official residence) passes through 23 Mother Teresa Crescent (Patel’s residence),” said a senior leader.
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