Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is expected to undertake an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas

TN update Rains relent but flooding remains rescue operations stepped up
news Chennai Rains Thursday, December 03, 2015 - 08:31

Rain continued to lash several coastal areas of Tamil Nadu on Thursday, even as many areas in Chennai remained submerged. 

Along with many road and rail transport not being operational and the airport flooded, mobile phone service have also been down, making it hard for people to communicate or move out of the city. 

Meanwhile, flood waters on the banks of the river Adyar reached up to the second floor of the Housing Board colonies nearby, forcing people to take refuge on their rooftops.  

Reports also add that the neighbouring districts of Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur, Cuddalore and Villupuram reeled under the impact of the surplus waters from reservoirs that left Adyar and Cooum rivers in spate and Buckingham Canal breached.

Areas like West Mambalam, Ashok Nagar and Jafferkhanpet in Chennai also saw waist deep water as water levels rose slightly on Wednesday night.

The Times of India quotes an official as saying, "the National Disaster Relief Force that has so far deployed 10 teams in Tamil Nadu will rush in 600 more personnel and 40 inflatable boats. As Chennai airport is flooded, it was decided that the airfields of Arakkonam, Tirupati, Tambaram and Trichy will be utilized for the operations."

The airport tarmac remained underwater as the Airports Authority of India (AAI) announced that the airport will remain shut till December 6. This came after an announcement by the IMD that there would be rain for the next 72 hours in Chennai and its suburbs with heavy rain during the next 48 hours.

Following three weeks of incessant rain in November as the city of Chennai was preparing to get back to normal, heavy rain pounded the city again on Tuesday which resulted in further deterioration.

Social media became a rallying point as food and shelter was offered to help stranded people with most of them offering food, shelter and accommodation for the ones stuck in the rain.

Pages on Facebook like Chennai Rain Relief 2015 - CRR also put together a form where people could ask for help or offer help. The page also offered constant updates on the situation.

An effort to crowd source places to stay was also put together in a spreadsheet, where people could fill details of the places where they could provide food and shelter along with a contact number.

Actor Siddharth and RJ Balaji from Big FM 92.7 have also joined rescue operations and are helping with the transportation of stranded people and providing food packets to the needy.

The duo are also looking for volunteers who can help in transporting people out of danger among other things and have started the hashtag #ChennaiMicro to make it easier for their team to respond.

S. R. Ramanan, director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, said "We expect the rain spell to continue for five more days. This will bring widespread rain or thundershowers over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Thursday and coastal areas will get heavy to very heavy rain," while adding that the trough of low pressure over the southwest bay of Bengal off Sri Lanka and North Tamil Nadu coast still persists in the same region.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka government announced Rs 5 crore for relief in the state while Bihar's deputy chief minister, Tejaswi Yadav, announced that he was donating his first salary to the victims of the floods. 

Firstpost reported that Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) and Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi directed senior officers of the disaster management division to stay in constant touch with the state government to provide any assistance necessary.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is expected to undertake an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of Chennai and its suburbs on Thursday.

Last reports that came in, suggested that the death toll stands at 189, with many people still stranded without food or electricity.

Read - Emergency numbers and a quick guide to being better prepared for the Tamil Nadu rains

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