Chennai : Life has come to a standstill in Tamil Nadu in general, and places like Chennai, Puducherry and Kancheepuram in particular, as heavy rains have disrupted normalcy in these areas and drowned the entire region under a water deluge. Torrential rains and follow-up downpour is adding to the water base and respite from weather is not visible in immediate time frame. Meteorological department has predicted heavy to very heavy rains in the next four days. Continuous downpour has disrupted commuting, and state residents are stranded in water puddles around their habitation, totally dependent on rescue operations for basic survival.
Heavy rains have derailed life, the means of travel like air routes and rail lines are all under water-arrest resulting in airports declared shut till tomorrow, and railways disrupting services and mammoth cancellations becoming order of the day. Date collected from over a decade of meteorological record-keeping suggests that these rains over past so many weeks in Chennai have almost touched and is on the verge of surpassing a 100-year record with one day’s rainfall covering a month’s average. Data keeps mounting to new highs at the Met level, and citizens in these parts of Southern India are sinking deep in despair under the toll of rains, which is taking their restlessness to a new low with every passing rainfall.
Non-stop torrential rains since Monday night pounded several parts of Chennai and its suburbs and Puducherry. This further triggered an add-on deluge, which again disrupted the barely-recovered normalcy, and army and navy were additionally deployed in two suburban areas to undertake rescue on a war footing. The heavy downpour flooded areas in Vadapalani, Valasaravakkam and Nandamvakkam as nearby lakes overflowed into the city.
Central and state government are working in perfect tandem and rescue operations are in full swing. Today’s activities from rescue front includes — INS Airawat equipped with 5 Jamini boats, 20 divers, relief material, will reach Chennai sometime during the evening today. According to Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s take on the situation, armed forces and the NDRF personnel have been pressed into service and government assures all possible support and cooperation. Regarding state level updates, Chennai airport, Tambaram and Arakkonam air bases being flooded, fixed wing aircraft will land closest to Tirupathi. Chennai Airport will remain shut for operations till 6 am tomorrow. The Chennai corporation has released a few helpline numbers for people affected by the floods. The Tamil Nadu government has announced holiday for schools and colleges while most of all the factories and offices too are staying closed. By Tuesday noon, power supply was suspended in almost 60% of the city locations as a precaution against fatality due to shorting.
PM Narendra Modi met Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Venkaiah Naidu and took update on speed of relief and rescue operations personally. As residents in southern suburbs were the worst affected, thousands of people who went to the city for work on Tuesday were stranded at different points en route to their home after bus and train services stopped. Tambaram and Mudichur areas were maximum affected with hundreds of houses submerged in water. Southern suburban railway stations were flooded with people after many who had to reach further southern suburbs could not find vehicles. The main GST road, connecting city with southern districts is fully cut off from the main city and vehicles were seen floating on the road by Tuesday night.