Chennai

Latest updates: MTC rides free till Dec. 8; 600 airlifted from Arakkonam

Fire Service personnel rescue a family at a flood-hit area in Vyasarpadi, Chennai, on Friday. Photo: V. Ganesan

Fire Service personnel rescue a family at a flood-hit area in Vyasarpadi, Chennai, on Friday. Photo: V. Ganesan   | Photo Credit: V_GANESAN

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Life for people in Chennai continues to be difficult though rains have stopped in the city. Many areas in Chennai still remain under water and supply of essentials is difficult, say residents.

“Waterlogging continues to be there. The only mercy was that there were no rains,” said Viswanath, a resident.

The water flow in the Adyar river has come down and the amount of surplus water was released into the river from the Chembarambakkam lake.

The Southern Railways have announced special trains to Tirunelveli, Rameswaram and Howrah from Chennai Beach station. The power supply was restored in the areas where water has receded, but it was still cut in many other places.

Mobile phone services, which had taken a severe beating following the heavy downpour on Tuesday, were partially restored even as other services such as ATMs continued to remain shut.

Latest Updates:

SCR running special trains

The South Central Railway (SCR) is running special trains from Hyderabad and Kakinada Port to Chennai for the benefit of passengers stranded in the rain-ravaged Tamil Nadu capital.

Train No 07644 left Kakinada Port at 9 p.m. on Friday and will arrive in Chennai Beach at 9:50 a.m. on Saturday.

Another train (No. 02760) departed from Hyderabad at 9 p.m. on Friday and will arrive at Chennai Beach at 12.15 p.m. on Saturday, a SCR release said.

Meanwhile, the SCR on Friday cancelled half a dozen trains (Up and Down directions) due to submergence of Railway bridges on the Chennai-Gudur section.

These trains are: Tirupati-Chennai Central Saptagiri Express, Tirupati-Chennai Central Express and Vijayawada-Chennai Central Janshatabdi Express (all three in both directions), the release said.

Private carriers join rescue effort

Private airlines have joined the rescue operations in rain-battered Chennai, with some of the carriers flying out hundreds of people from the Arakkonam Naval Base to Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

“Some of the private airlines have started running a few relief flights from here to Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. One such flight flew about 130 rescued civilians to Delhi this afternoon,” a defence official said in Arakkonam.

“While two flights flew in the morning to Hyderabad and Bangalore routes, one came in the afternoon and another at night,” he added.

The Delhi-bound IndiGo flight (No 8002) landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at its domestic terminal early Friday night.

Arakkonam Naval Base or INS Rajali is about 70 km west of Chennai, and is currently being used as a makeshift airport due to closure of the Chennai Airport. — PTI

600 airlifted from Arakkonam

Over 600 people including more than 130 university students and an old French couple were taken to safety from Arakonam Naval Base, about 70 km from Chennai, by a coordinated team of defence and NDRF personnel.

Clear weather provided opportunity to the Air Force team to carry our ample number of sorties for relief and rescue operations.

The rescued included both stranded civilians and defence personnel many of whom themselves were unable to move around in the wake of the torrential rains that has pounded the city lately.

“Around 150 people, 130 among them being civilians and rest from the defence forces were rescued and sent in a private airliner which operated two rescue flights from our base. While the first took off in the afternoon for Delhi, the other one carrying 180 people left at night. - PTI

MTC rides free

Considering the number of displaced people in Chennai, the government has announced that passengers can travel in the >Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses free of cost for four days beginning Saturday (December 5, 2015).





Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday said that the Chennai rain fury was a “natural disaster of unprecedented scale”. “Chennai is a natural disaster of unprecedented scale ...Chennai gives a lesson and we must learn from this lesson and improve our urban planning and improve the City governance which is very essential,” he told PTI. >Read more here.

All banks in flood affected areas in Tamil Naidu will remain open on Sunday and will also offer extended business hours, says Finance Ministry. ANI

Airport to resume partial operations

Chennai Airport to resume partial operations from Saturday. Authorities may carry relief and ferry services. This is only for day time departures, it may take sometime for full-fledged operations to start.

"If there is no further rain, we will start operations on Chennai airport from tomorrow", says Mahesh Sharma, MoS, Aviation.

"We have requested all airlines to maintain price cap in this time of crisis," he added. ANI

Take lessons from rain crisis: Puducherry CM

The havoc wreaked by heavy rains here should be a lesson for officials of the public works and local administration departments that they may take the necessary steps for adequately dealing with such crises in the future, Chief Minister N Rangasamy has said.

With the unprecedented rains hitting normal life in the Union Territory of Puducherry during the last 20 days, the chief minister said that “what went wrong regarding the management of the drainage as also the other infrastructure” should be studied by the officials. >Read more

Navy's operation

Indian NAVY conducts Aerial survey of Tambaram. Conducts rescue operations across the city.

Suburban train services resume

ExpressTrains from egmore services started. Five special trains will run today.

Two out of four lines restored in Egmore-Tambaram line. In Tambaram-Chengalpet, one out of two lines restored and Chengalpet to Vilupuram all lines are restored. - Ministry of Railways

Meanwhile, TNA chief Sampanthan expresses concern Hails TN govt, others for tireless efforts in providing relief.

1000s rescued

NDRF intensified its relief and rescue operations in the rain and flood-battered Chennai and its adjoining areas as it added 20 more teams for the job and rescued over 10,000 people till now. >Read more

Rains abate, but localities in south continue to be flooded. >Read more

(NDRF personnel during the rescue operation in Kotturpuram, Chennai on Thursday. PTI)

Bodies of 14 people, nine men and five women, who died in a private hospital in Chennai, were brought to the Royapettah Government Hospital in the city on Friday for postmortem.

The resident medical officer of the government hospital confirmed that all the bodies had come from MIOT Hospital at Manapakkam. Relatives of the patients claimed that the critical care systems failed because of lack of power at MIOT Hospital, because of heavy flooding over the last few days. >Read more

Also read: >Chennai floods point to need for urgent climate action: France

A physically challenged person wades through flood waters on Pantheon Road. Photo: R. Ragu

However, communication lines — landline and mobile — remain disrupted.

In heavily flooded areas like Mudichur and Tambaram, people were looking up to the skies praying for the rains to stop, and for relief materials.



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Though water was receding in many parts of the city, the misery of citizens showed little let up as power remained suspended in many areas as a precautionary measure, officials said.

Safe drinking water continued to remain a luxury for many.

Milk and newspaper supplies were erratic and many citizens complained that vegetables were still being sold at high rates.

Metro comes to the rescue

Transport services were also showing signs of picking up.

Train services on the suburban Chennai Arakonnam stretch were partially restored. Southern Railway officials said they were yet to take a call on restoration of services on the other busy Tambaram—Chennai beach route which covers both business and residential areas.

The Chennai Metro line continued to witness enhanced patronage in the wake of suspension of bus and rail transport.

Director General of the NDRF O P Singh said his teams were expected to rescue and reach out to more number of people today as water has receded in some places.

“We have rescued about 9,000 people till now. Ten more teams from Pune and Patna have been mobilised to Tamil Nadu.

We expect to have better results today as things have improved and communication is enhanced,” he said.

IMD forecast

According to IMD forecast, from December 5 to December 10 there will be cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thunderstorm.

Here is an a >rea-wise update on the flood situation in the city.

NDRF helpline number: 011—24363260, 09711077372.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2019 5:22:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/rains-stop-in-chennai-life-still-difficult/article7948182.ece

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