Rescue efforts in full swing, airport open for technical flights
GN Staff | December 5, 2015
Chennai is slowly limping back to normalcy but the city is still on edge as many areas witnessed heavy rains this morning. Thousands of military personnel and social activists were engaged in a major operation of supplying food, water and blankets to thousands trapped in water-logged neighbourhoods -- and rescuing the still marooned.
Tamil Nadu State Relief Officer has said that over 11 lakh people have been evacuated so far. In addition, power has been restored in most areas.
Meanwhile, banks will remain open on Sunday in order to facilitate smooth financial transactions even as the Airports Authority of India said that Chennai airport will start partial operations on Saturday.
The Southern Railway has announced special trains to Tirunelveli, Rameswaram and Howrah from Chennai Beach station in a bid to clear the large number of train travellers.
Communication lines -- landlines and mobile connections -- are still disrupted. The official web site of the Tamil Nadu government crashed on Friday.
Union civil aviation minister Mahesh Sharma said “we started technical flights but the commercial flights will not be able possible as the basement in the airport is still filled with water. Power supply has also not yet resumed. It will take one or two days to make the Chennai airport operational for commercial flights.
Yesterday four flights, two by Indigo, one by Spicejet and Jet Airways, transported around 319 passengers from naval base to to different places. Today also four flights are being operated.
Worst affected areas in Chennai are Ram Nagar Mudichur, Velachery, Anagaputhur, Kodungaiyur, some areas of T nagar and West Mambalam, Virugambakkam and Thoriapakkam.
The rains have caused widespread destruction in the districts of Chennai, Cuddalore, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur in Tamil Nadu. But the state capital bore the brunt record rainfall.
Fourteen patients admitted at an intensive care unit of MIOT Hospital in Chennai died due to power failure following floods, an official said.
Prithivi Mohandas, the hospital's managing director, told the media that lights and other equipment ceased to work due to power failure. The hospital's back-up power system also failed.
Power supply has been cut off in flood affected areas in Chennai and the neighbourhood.
As rains halted on Thursday and early Friday, some shops opened in parts of flooded Chennai including Mylapore and Teynampet. Electricity supply was restored in some areas.
Drinking water was in short supply and so were basic essentials including milk and vegetables.
Skeletal public transport was operational from Friday morning in some areas.
The water flow in the Adyar river has come down as the quantum of surplus water released into the river from Chembarambakkam lake fell.
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