Relief For Chennai – Rain Stops, Water Levels Recede in Rivers
After days of chaos, there was finally some relief for the flood-battered people of Chennai, as a break in rain overnight helped reduce water levels of the Adyar and Coovum rivers, thus easing large-scale flooding.
While intermittent rain has been forecast for Chennai over the next 24 hours, coastal and interior Tamil Nadu will receive more rain in that period.
- Seven flights will be operated today by Air India and some private airlines from the Rajali Naval air station in Arakkonam near Chennai.
- Chennai’s airport remains shut after a flooded runway forced the cancellation of all flights on Monday. Train services will remain suspended till tomorrow, say officials.
- As many as 100 people are still stranded at the Chennai airport and their evacuation is expected to be completed by Friday morning.
- Water levels in the Adyar and Cooum rivers have reduced after a sharp fall in water being released from Chembarapakkam, Pondi and Puzhal lakes.
- The Army and the National Disaster Response Force have rescued more than 7,000 people so far. But many are still marooned.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced immediate relief of Rs 1,000 crore on Thusrday during his visit to Chennai. He took an aerial survey of the flood-hit cityand said, “The government of India will stand by the people of Tamil Nadu in their hour of need.”
- Rescue work has been hampered in some areas due to live electricity wires from broken poles that have fallen into the water. The state electricity board suspended power as a precautionary measure.
- Prices of milk, vegetables and food items skyrocketed because of short supply. A one-litre packet of milk is being sold for Rs 100 in some places. A bottle of mineral water costing Rs 20 is being sold for Rs 150. Vegetables like tomato and beans are being sold for Rs 80 to Rs 90 a kg.
- Terming the situation in Chennai as “very alarming”, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, on Thursday, said there had been 269 deaths in Tamil Nadu since the heavy rain and flooding began last month.
- Schools, colleges and offices have been forced to close and exams have been postponed. Telecom companies have offered free talk-time to their customers.
In Depth Update:
Rescue Efforts Continue:
NDRF chief O P Singh said the situation had improved in the city overnight as water levels in many areas receded. There was a sharp fall in the discharge of waters from Chembarapakkam, Pondi and Puzhal lakes as well, leading to reduction in the water levels of the two rivers that criss-cross the city.
Rescue and relief operations are continuing in full swing and the National Disaster Response Force will intensify its operations in the affected areas on Friday. 5 NDRF teams from Punjab have reached Chennai at 3am on Friday morning, the NDRF head said, adding, We’ve rescued more than 9,000 people so far.
A total of 28 NDRF teams with over 1,200 personnel were deployed in Chennai where they rescued around 5,000 marooned people by deploying over 110 boats. Two NDRF teams were deployed in Puducherry.
Air Force personnel dropped food packets providing succour to the distressed people living on roof tops after floods displaced them from their homes. A total of 14 lakh food packets were distributed, Tamil Nadu government said. 255 Navy personnel were pressed into service with 12 boats and 15 helicopters for reaching relief.
He added that power has been restored in several areas that were not waterlogged and the communications network has also improved. Officials said that from a discharge of 30,000 cusecs of water from Chembarampakkam, one of the key sources of drinking water supply to Chennai city, it has come down to 13,000 cusecs in the afternoon and 5,000 cusecs at night after there was no fresh rain on Thursday. Similarly, there has been considerable decline in discharge of water from Puzhal, Pondi and Madurantakam lakes among others.
Transportation Still Minimal:
Still, Chennai city remained virtually cut off from the rest of the country with all air, rail and road transport services continuing to be suspended. Public transport was crippled because of flooding of the arterial main roads, including Mount Road over the Marmalong bridge.
The Grand Southern Trunk Road that links Chennai with Madurai and beyond was cut off after breaches in several places in Kanchipuram district.
The Southern Railway announced cancellation of all inter- and intra-state train services till Saturday while the airport operations will remain suspended till Sunday. Prices of milk, vegetables and food items skyrocketed because of short supply and people were forced to fork out huge amount of money for buying essentials.
PM Releases Additional Relief Funds:
With the flood wreaking havoc, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday undertook an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of Chennai and its suburbs and the neighbouring districts of Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur.
Later he held consultations with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa at the naval base INS Adyar and announced Rs 1,000 crores in aid for relief work.
Weather Forecast for Tamil Nadu:
Heavy rain continued to lash coastal Cuddalore district, one of the worst affected areas ever since northeast monsoon fury started early last month, and Villupuram and Kanyakumari districts and Puducherry as the death toll in the state mounted to 269.
Chennai will remain overcast with possibility of intermittent rains. Fishermen have been warned not to go to sea, Area Cyclone Warning Centre Director SR Ramanan told reporters.
A majority of places in coastal and interior Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are likely to experience more rains in the next 24 hours. As regards north coastal districts in Tamil Nadu and some places will experience heavy to very heavy rainfall, he said.
Chennai Helpline Numbers
Indian Navy’s helpline number in Chennai: +914425394240
The Indian Army’s helpline: 9840295100
For Flood Rescue: call Major Surya Kumar G (Indian Army) – 0 83940 00074
Helplines for boat services:
Ola Boats: 7708068600; NTL Boat helpline: 7708068600
Chennai corporation helplines
Emergency Toll Free Number: 1910, State Emergency: 1070, District Emergency: 1077, Electricity:1912, Fire & Rescue: 101, Ambulance: 108, Tree fall, waterlogging – 1913, Sewage overflow – 45674567, 22200335
Other Helpline Numbers:
Tiruvottiyur : 09445190001, Manali: 09445190002; Madhavaram: 9445190003, Ambattur: 9445190007; Tondiarpet: 9445190004, Royapuram: 9445190005; Annanagar: 9445190008, Teynampet: 9445190009, Alandur: 9445190012, Adyar: 9445190013,Perungudi: 9445190014
Flood Control Room: 28593990, 044-28410577,9445869843/47