Sweta Ranjan | December 2, 2015
The airport at Chennai came to a standstill at around 7 pm on Tuesday following the fury of the rain that persisted the whole day. The airport area is completely inundated and the rain water has reached the under carriage of aircraft.
It is learnt that the airport will be shut till December 6 .
IMD director general LS Rathore said the airport got flooded as it is in a low-lying area. “Chennai airport is in a low-lying area. With rainfall likely to continue, it's not a good situation,” Rathore said.
More than 50 flights were cancelled on Tuesday leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at the airport.The heavy rain has also affected other modes of transportation in Chennai as many parts of the city are flooded due to two days of heavy and continuous rain.
Airport Director Deepak Shastri has declared it as a difficult situation. Shastri has informed all the operators saying, “complete runway submerged due to rising levels. River breached banks and airfields getting inundated. Water already reached up to bus lounge. Please cancel flights and information be circulated widely. Flights for tomorrow also be rescheduled or cancelled.”
Rescue efforts led by army, navy and NDRF
The Army, the Navy and the National Disaster Response Force are out in Chennai to rescue people from their flooded homes. Schools have been forced to close and exams have been postponed at least for this week. Passengers are stranded at the Chennai airport and railway stations due to cancellation of services. Chennai faces more rain in the next four days, said the Met office. It is the worst rain in Tamil Nadu in nearly 100 years. In many parts of Chennai, residents have opened their doors to strangers, offering food, shelter and even mobile recharges. A mall in south Chennai said it kept its doors open overnight for stranded people.
#ChennaiFloods ; the power of social media to make a positive impact and rally support visible when natural crisis hits us unexpectedly.— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) December 2, 2015
Chennaites use Twitter to help the rain-hit
Amidst all chaos of flooding, Chennaites have taken to social media to rally support. Residents in Chennai are offering support through the hashtag #ChennaiRainsHelp. The aim is to reach out for help through Twitter and offer shelter to the stranded. Help is being crowdsourced through tweets, many of which have been compiled on to a Google spreadsheet. The table, which is being constantly updated, includes details on the area where shelter is available, the number of people that can be accommodated, the Twitter handle as well as the contact number. Some users have even included notes like ‘pets welcome’ as well. There is also a provision for those who need help to post their location or on behalf of someone else. Another section specifies the need for other amenities, such as medical help. All the information on this spreadsheet have been gleaned from Twitter and is meant to be a ‘central repository of stranded people’, as described by Twitter user Sowmya Rao, who began putting the list together.
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