Chennai, Dec 4
- Air India, Indigo, Spice Jet and True Jet will operate six flights from Arakkonam naval base airport.
- Railways will run shuttle service from Chennai beach to Arakkonam airbase to facilitate the flying out.
- Rescue operations are in full swing in the state with the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and National Disaster Response Force at work
- The Air Force personnel have dropped nearly 1.5 lakh (0.15 million) food packages to the marooned
- As many as 255 Navy personnel along with 12 boats and 15 helicopters are also pressed into service.
- A majority of places in coastal and interior Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are likely to experience more rains in the next 24 hours.
- Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Odisha CM Navin Patnaik announce Rs 5 crore assistance respectively for the victims of Chennai rains.
- MET Director BP Yadav says Chennai is not likely to receive heavy rainfall for next 48 hours
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he fury of rain abated last night, bring much needed relief to the marooned denizens of Chennai and its suburbs. But the city remained cut off from rest of the country, and carrying out relief and rescue operations and providing food and water to the trapped people were major challenges to the authorities.
Despite a letup in rain, tragedy continues to haunt the city. As many as 14 patients—nine men and five women– reportedly died in a private hospital due to power failure, leading to disruption of oxygen supply to the critically ill patients. The tragedy struck after the generator set in the basement of the MIOT Hospital in Manapakkam stopped functioning due to flooding. This was the lone source of electivity and the stoppage led to disruption in life supports system.
The bodies of the patients have been brought to Royapettah Government hospital for postmortem.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]N[/dropcap]early 1500 NDRF men, hundreds of Army personnel and Coast Guards, police jawans and fire service men are involved into rescuing people trapped in worst-flooded Kotturpuram, Nandanam, Jafferkhanpet, Saidapet and the suburban areas of Velacheri, Madipakkam, Tambaram and Mudichur.
The letup in rain brought down water level across the city thanks to reduction of discharge from Chembarapakkam, Poondy and Puzhal lakes, which helped bring down the water levels in Adyar and Cooum rivers. The two rivers passes through the city and reduction in their level helped flow of excess water into them, thus easing the overall flooding.
Talking to media persons, the chief of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) O P Singh said that the things were far better on Friday and water levels in many areas were receding.
“Five NDRF teams from Punjab have reached Chennai at 3am on Friday morning,” Singh said, adding,”, adding, “We’ve rescued more than 9,000 people so far.”
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he fury or rain and flood have claimed three hundred lives so far and hundreds of propel are trapped without food and water on rooftops and second and thirds floors of their houses. The disruption of supply has led to massive rise in prices of essential commodities including milk, mineral water and food items.
The city air port is shut till December 6 and road and rail links to the city are also badly affected. The Grand Southern Trunk Road linking Chennai with Madurai and beyond was cut off after breaches in several places in Kanchipuram district.
The Southern Railways have announced special trains to Tirunelveli, Rameswaram and Howrah from Chennai Beach station.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he power supply was restored in the areas where water has receded, but it was still cut in many other places. However, communication lines — landline and mobile — continue to disrupt.
Meanwhile, The US has offered assistance to meet the humanitarian challenge in Chennai.
“The US stands ready to assist the people of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, as well as the Government of India as they face the worst flooding in decades,” State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference on Thursday.
“We express our deepest condolences to the families of the people who have perished in these floods, and our thoughts are with those families who are still trapped and whose livelihoods are affected,” he said.
“The US is in touch with the Government of India to discuss ways that we can provide any assistance at this difficult time,” Toner said.
“So far it has not received any request for assistance. We’ve offered our assistance. Certainly, India is a very developed government with its own domestic services or capabilities to provide emergency assistance. That said, it’s something we normally do especially in the cases of natural calamities,” he said.
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