A clear picture on the status of damage caused by the present spell of heavy rain in the State, particularly in the southern districts, is likely to emerge by Tuesday evening when reports of the Colle

A Central team will visit Kerala later this week to make an on-the-spot assessment of the damage caused to standing crop by the rains that lashed the State over the past week, killing 14 people.

The unusually-heavy rains over Tamil Nadu and other parts of southern peninsula may have been caused by La Nina and the positive phase of southern oscillation (SO), global scale circulation features.

The heavy rain over the past one week and more has claimed more lives and caused further crop loss across the State.

Several parts of Karnataka have been receiving unseasonable rain damaging a variety of summer crops and forcing people to remain indoors in urban areas.

Widespread heavy rain, caused by an upper air cyclonic trough, lashed the State for the second day on Sunday, claiming six lives and extensively damaging standing crops in several districts.

Heavy rains are wreaking havoc in north Telangana districts with standing crops getting damaged resulting in huge losses to the farmers.

IRRI-boro paddy cultivation in Pabna is facing a setback because of a drought-like situation for lack of rain. The farmers are now crying for rain.

Stating that the recent unseasonal heavy rains were so rare that they occurred only the third time in the last 100 years, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy announced a "special package' to liberally assist farmers whose crops were damaged in 11 districts of the State. The cash compensation allowed on each crop damaged has been doubled under the package. The 11 districts are Prakasam, Nellore, Guntur, Krishna, Srikakulam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Kadapa, Kurnool and Nizamabad. Making a suo motu statement in the Assembly on Tuesday, Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy said the commercial crops faced the brunt as they were normally sown around this time of the year. The package provided for payment of compensation of Rs. 4, 500 per hectare in case of paddy, groundnut, chillies and vegetables and Rs. 3,750 per hectare for sunflower, maize and pulses. The government would recommend to cooperative and other banks to reschedule present crop loans and issue fresh ones.