Rain abates in Tamil Nadu, waterlogged areas cry for help

Chennai, Nov 17 (IANS) Battered by rains for the past couple of days, life in this southern metropolis is limping back to normalcy on Tuesday as the sun shone. The weather department has forecast isolated rainfall in some parts of the state.

The whole city was bathed in bright sunlight on Tuesday morning after steady rains and cloudy sky over the past couple of days. But many areas were waterlogged and people in crying need of help and relief.

The toll in the state due to rain-related incidents climbed to at least 80 though official numbers are not available.

Meanwhile, the weather department has predicted isolated heavy rains over Thiruvallur district and scattered rain over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

According to the weather department, low depression over Bay of Bengal will move towards south Andhra coast, resulting in abatement of rains in Chennai and adjoining areas.

However, heavy rainfall is predicted for coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Meanwhile, rain relief and rescue work is progressing in full swing. West Tambaram, a suburb of Chennai, is one of the worst affected as hundreds of homes have been flooded.

Fire service personnel have pressed boats into service to rescue people from their homes in that locality. Many residents have vacated their homes as their residences have been flooded.

In many places, parked cars and two-wheelers have been totally submerged. Those living in the apartments found refuge in their neighbour’s place. The boats are used for rescuing head of cattle from the flood waters.

The armed forces deployed their assets and personnel for rescuing people from flood-hit areas in Chennai, Kanchipuram and Chengalpattu districts on Tuesday.

A 12-member team from the navy was deployed in the rescue work, said an official.

Food packets and water bottles were dropped on the roof tops of houses in flood-hit areas, using helicopters.

Speaking to reporters in Kanchipuram, district collector R. Gajalakshmi said over 30,000 people stranded in flood-hit areas in the district were rescued by the relief teams during the past two days.

The DMK party on Tuesday announced a contribution of Rs.1 crore to the state disaster relief fund.

DMK president M. Karunanidhi in a statement said the Rs.500 crore relief measure announced by the state government is not sufficient to meet the relief needs of the people.

He said the government should take efforts to tap funds for relief from the wealthy people.

In a bid to help transport people stranded due to waterlogging in Chennai, Ola, a mobile application for personal transportation, on Tuesday deployed boats in waterlogged and partially submerged areas.

According to Ola, the boats are deployed on the basis of information provided by the fire and rescue department of Tamil Nadu.

The boats, manned by professional rowers and fishermen, will also be used to provide food and drinking water in areas which are reportedly short of basic supplies.

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