Boats prove sole means to safety

Many volunteers take part in rescue operations, NTL starts boat service

With many parts of the city under water, affected people waited with a prayer on their lips for boats to reach their areas for most of Wednesday.

Firemen from Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services (TNFRS) Department used 50 boats in Tambaram municipality, Madambakkam, Perumbakkam, Kotturpuram, Jafferkanpet, Ekkaduthangal and Saidapet.

“Areas along the banks of Adyar river were most affected with many places having over seven feet of water. We concentrated rescue efforts there and managed to evacuate over 10,000 people. Rescue operations will continue on Thursday,” said a senior officer of TNFRS.

Of the 600 firemen engaged in rescue efforts, 200 belonged to other districts.

Of the 50 boats used for rescue operations, 41 were brought from the State Fisheries Department.

Many volunteers — who had access to fibreglass boats and swimmers with rescue equipment — too took part in rescue operations in a few places. Cab service NTL started a boat service and announced a helpline number on Tuesday as well.

Rescue operations this time were not restricted only to areas usually vulnerable during the monsoon as boats were spotted at Mylapore, too.

A resident of Brindavan Street said many occupants of an apartment complex that was inundated were rescued using a boat which had been borrowed from Nochikuppam. Fishermen too pitched in.

Selvi P., a domestic help from Mylapore, said similar rescue operations were carried out in 2005, when the water level rose beyond 3 feet. “We were rescued in boats and made to stay at the Savitri Ammal school nearby. There has been no power or no way to access our homes and we will be here for the next few days,” she said.

(Additional reporting by S. Poorvaja)

Many volunteers take part in rescue operations, NTL starts boat service

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 7:52:43 PM |

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