As flood waters receded in some parts of rain-ravaged Chennai, the impact of the devastation has slowly begun to emerge with rescue teams stumbling upon a few bodies inside buildings that were marooned.
The most tragic among them was the drowning of an engineer-couple trapped inside their office in Ekkatuthangal here. Just two days ago, rescue personnel found the body of an elderly couple at Defence Colony in Nandambakkam.
With many parts of Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Cuddalore still submerged, it is feared that the scale of such human tragedy could be higher. Sunday’s rains and the forecast of a wet Monday and Tuesday have heightened the anxiety of the National Disaster Response Force, the Coastal Security Group and the Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services personnel making their rescue and relief missions much more complex.
As relief work gathered momentum, the metropolis was limping back to normality. Chennai airport is available for all weather day and night operations for all flights. While the domestic terminal was available from Sunday, the international terminal will be functional from early Monday.
Train services on all suburban sectors around Chennai will resume operations on Monday. Power supply is being restored gradually across the city.
Meanwhile the State government went on an overdrive to make its relief operations more visible by despatching Ministers to distribute milk and other essentials to the affected people at different locations to fend off criticism that it was doing little on the ground to alleviate the sufferings of those rendered homeless. It also brought in 2,000 sanitary workers from other Municipal Corporations to clear the city’s piled-up garbage.
However, a section of the flood-affected people and volunteers, actively carrying on relief work, complained that the administration needs to walk the extra mile to complete the job at hand.
Relief was yet to reach those living in interior areas and localities where the extent of damage was not as grave as in the southern suburbs but nonetheless bad.