Rain pause short-lived, fresh drizzle scuttles Chennai rescue efforts

  • Agencies, Chennai
  • Updated: Dec 04, 2015 16:59 IST
Army personnel during the rescue operation in Chennai after heavy rainfall on Thursday. (PTI)

Just as Chennai had begun to heave a sigh of relief, it started raining again on late Friday afternoon, throwing rescue efforts out of gear.

ANI reported that water levels had crossed the danger mark at the Koyambedu bridge, while visuals of houses flooding again were being posted on social media.

Officials said rescue workers managed to evacuate 10,000 people stranded across the inundated city by afternoon. Earlier in the day, receding water had cleared up some of the main roads, facilitating movement and relief efforts.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had added 20 more teams to their current strength to increase the pace of efforts.

Read: Lesson from Chennai floods: India needs old cities to be less dumb

Some shops had managed to open in central areas like Teynampet and Mylapore though food shortage persisted through the city.

Communication lines however remained sketchy while electricity was restored in few areas.

Connectivity out of the city was marginally restored as seven commercial flights were given clearance to operate from the Rajali naval base in Arakkonam, and the Southern Railways announced special trains to Tirunelveli, Rameswaram and Howrah from Chennai Beach station.

Special train services were also started between Mangaluru (Karnataka) and Arakkonam (Tamil Nadu) with 10 major junction stations, including Coimbatore, and Kozhikode, added to the route.

However, despite the improving situation, people are now grappling with the aftermath of the floods. Prices of milk, vegetables and food items have sky rocketed due to short supply and people were forced to fork out huge amount of money for buying essentials. Tensions were also palpable as growing lines at the ATMs raised worries of running out of money.

The department of financial services however said alternative mechanisms like mobile ATM, ATM vans and mobile ATMs would be mounted on boats to reach people.

The US government, which has a consulate in Chennai, also offered its support, though it said it hadn’t received any formal request for assistance.

Union territory Puducherry however continued to receive rains through Friday, with the coastal area recording 8.4 cm rainfall till morning.

Read: Modi announces relief of Rs 1,000 crore for rain-hit Tamil Nadu

Read: ‘Born again in Chennai’: Survivor tales from a flooded city

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