Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday instructed the central government to release Rs 1,000 crore for relief and rescue operations in rain-hit Tamil Nadu after an aerial survey of the state and its water-logged capital.
"I have seen the damage and misery caused by the extremely heavy rainfall. The government of India stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Tamil Nadu in this hour of need. I have directed that Rs 1000 crore be released immediately to Tamil Nadu for immediate relief. This is over and above the Rs 940 crore, which was released earlier," he told a gathering of reporters.
Modi also met urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu and defence minister Manohar Parrikar earlier in the day to review the situation on the ground.
The relief fund was announced even as the water level has started receding in some parts of Chennai and the Met department announced that the low pressure will weaken over the next 48 hours.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa also took stock of the flood situation in Chennai and its suburban areas on Thursday after she conducted an aerial survey of the city.
Jayalalithaa said police, fire and rescue, national and state disaster forces and Coast Guard were on stand-by for need-based evacuations. “I have ordered officials to take precautionary measures before releasing surplus water from reservoirs and evacuate people living in low-lying areas,” she said.
Modi also held talks with Jayalalithaa and governor K Rosaiah.
Meanwhile, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India estimated that the financial loss due to the floods is expected to be around Rs 15,000 crore. The state had earlier put the figure at Rs 8,481 crore after the first spell of rains.
Many people are still stranded in various parts of Chennai and its surrounding districts. The water in areas like the Malligai Poo Nagar, which was flooded by the Adyar River in Chennai, still remained above knee level as people slowly ventured out of their homes to look for supplies and stock up on rations.
The Chennai airport has been announced shut till Sunday and all trains from Egmore and Chennai central were also cancelled till Saturday.
Trains that were scheduled to arrive at Chennai, have also either been cancelled or diverted. Some have been partially cancelled, running only up to a certain station. Find the full list here.
Here are some pictures from Chennai on Thursday (credit : Nishanth Krish)