Tamil Nadu Current Affairs

Invasive species of snowflake coral discovered off coast of Thiruvananthapuram

Recently scientists have discovered presence of several colonies of an invasive species of snowflake coral (Carijoa riisei) off the coast of Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari.

They were discovered at 10 metre depth off Kovalam (Thiruvananthapuram) and 18 metre depth off Enayam (Kanyakumari). Scientists have noted that these fast-growing alien species could pose a serious threat to the marine ecology of the region.

About Snowflake Corals

  • The snowflake coral is native of the tropical Western Atlantic and Caribbean. For first in 1972 it was reported as an invasive species from Hawaii. Since then, it has spread to countries like Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
  • It is considered an invasive species because it has capacity to dominate space and crowd out other marine organisms.
  • It is known to inhabit reefs and underwater structures such as piers and shipwreck. It can also attach itself to metal, concrete and even plastic.
  • In India, it has been reported from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Gulf of Mannar (Tamil Nadu), Gulf of Kutch (Gujarat) and Goa.

Threats

  • As it has capacity to thickly settle and occupy a variety of surfaces it can destabilise the marine ecosystem.
  • It can crowd out other marine species like corals, algae, sponges, ascidians that are mainly contributing to the rich marine biodiversity of the region.

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Union Government declares Tamil Nadu flood as Calamity of Severe Nature

The Union Government has declared the recent Tamil Nadu flood as a Calamity of Severe Nature.

Central Government’s announcement came after Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa had made a plea to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking that the floods be declared as National Disaster.

Under this declaration Parliamentarians are advised to pend up to 1 crore rupees under their MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) for reconstruction and rehabilitation works in the in flood-affected districts.

In this regard, MPs can send approval letters to the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

Background

The 2015 South Indian floods was a severe natural calamity caused by heavy rainfall on 15–16 November during the annual northeast monsoon seson.

The worst affected areas were are located on the Coromandel Coast region of the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and the union territory of Puducherry. Chennai, capital city of Tamil Nadu was particularly hard-hit.

The floods had killed nearly 600 people and displaced over 1.8 million people. The flooding was attributed to the strong El Niño phenomenon during the El Niño year of 2015

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Interceptor boat ICGS C-422 commissioned into Indian Coast Guard service

Indian Coast Guard has commissioned interceptor boat ‘ICGS C-422’ into its fleet to further enhance its vigil along Pondicherry and South Tamil Nadu coast in the Bay of Bengal.

It was commissioned in a traditional ceremony held at Karaikal port in Tamil Nadu by Puducherry Assembly Speaker V Sabapathy.

About ICGS C-422

  • ICGS C-422 is the 36th interceptor boat to be inducted into the Coast Guard service.
  • The boat is capable of multiple tasks including interdiction, surveillance and search and rescue.
  • It has been fitted with state-of-the-art communication, navigational equipment along with adequate fire power.

Presently, Indian Coast Guard has two fast patrol vessels ICGS Rani Durgavati and ICGS Ameya along with two interceptor boats C-428 and C-415 stationed at Karaikal port.

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