Chennai

Revisiting the 2015 floods in Chennai: images from The Hindu

An aerial view of flood-hit areas of Chennai and its suburbs.

An aerial view of flood-hit areas of Chennai and its suburbs.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In the first week of December 2015, Chennai saw unprecedented flooding as a result of heavy rainfall. Citizens banded together to rescue others stranded in their homes as the water levels rose to alarming levels. We take a look some scenes from the floods that devastated many lives and caused untold destruction to properties.

A government hospital in Chromepet, Chennai was flooded and the patients were rescued by fire and rescue personnel.

A government hospital in Chromepet, Chennai was flooded and the patients were rescued by fire and rescue personnel.   | Photo Credit: G. Krishnaswamy

The storm brought life to a standstill and almost everyone experienced some kind of loss. Thousands were left homeless and vulnerable, at the mercy of the weather and the charity of good samaritans.

Vehicles move through the flooded Gandhi Irwin road in Egmore.

Vehicles move through the flooded Gandhi Irwin road in Egmore.   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

The lack of warning of the floods in Chennai made it especially difficult for people with disabilities, who were left to fend for themselves. While some needed rescuing, others lost essential implements like hearing aids, crutches and calipers, leaving them more vulnerable than ever before.

Flood victims in Kotturpuram rescued by fishermen from Kasimedu.

Flood victims in Kotturpuram rescued by fishermen from Kasimedu.   | Photo Credit: Shaju John

Across the city, people found pets lost on the roads. In many cases, they were washed away, or ran out when the water started rising. Many were rescued by the SPCA and the animal rescue volunteers.

A man tries to rescue a calf in flooded water at MMDA Colony.

A man tries to rescue a calf in flooded water at MMDA Colony.   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

Though cyclones, depressions and storms are an annual occurrence in Chennai, some years like 1985, when former Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran was evacuated from his Ramapuram garden home, or 1976, when the Army stepped in to keep the Manali oil refinery running, are unforgettable.

A street dog swims through flood waters near a submerged car at Saidapet, after the floodgates of Chembarambakkam lake were opened.

A street dog swims through flood waters near a submerged car at Saidapet, after the floodgates of Chembarambakkam lake were opened.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Chembarambakkam Lake, which is blamed for the city’s flooding, was once the lifeline of South Chennai as it irrigated 168 villages in the district while the North of Chennai benefited from Puzhal Lake. However, plundering of the waterbodies, including the lake, led to the uprooting of livelihoods and homes over a vast area.

An aerial view of the marooned Velachery junction in Chennai.

An aerial view of the marooned Velachery junction in Chennai.   | Photo Credit: S.R. Ragunathan

Fishermen from Kovalam and Semmanchery helped people reach Kovalam and Kelambakkam after a portion of the road connecting these two places was washed away by the floods.

Army personnel rescuing people from a colony in Nandanam.

Army personnel rescuing people from a colony in Nandanam.   | Photo Credit: S.R. Ragunathan

The Saidapet bridge, a part of the arterial Anna Salai went under as waters rose.

Adyar river in spate flowing over the Saidapet bridge.

Adyar river in spate flowing over the Saidapet bridge.   | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

But, despite repeated warnings about poor disaster management, not much has changed in the city.

Motorists navigate through the inundated Mudichur Main Road, following heavy rains in Chennai in November 2017.

Motorists navigate through the inundated Mudichur Main Road, following heavy rains in Chennai in November 2017.   | Photo Credit: M. Vedhan

 

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 1:04:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/revisiting-the-2015-floods-in-chennai-images-from-the-hindu/article21248895.ece

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