Saturday, December 5, 2015

Chennai struggling to return to normalcy after raging floods

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Chennai floods: People rescue from their waterlogged houses during heavy rains in the city. (Source: PTI)
With receding waters, Chennai city and suburbs on Saturday battled hard to pick up pieces of life but occasional heavy rains threatened to revive the ghost of flooding as lakhs of people in the worst-hit areas faced acute short supply of essentials including water, power, milk and food items.
Intermittent rains, occasionally heavy, in the city in areas like Kodambakkam, T. Nagar, Adyar and Kotturpuram and suburban Tambaram today threatened to revive the ghost of flooding again but the weatherman has forecast only light rains for Chennai in the next 24 hours. Heavy to very heavy rains have been forecast for south coastal and interior districts and Puducherry.
Arterial Mount Road and several other important roads were opened for traffic on Friday after three days of disruption bringing a slight sense of normalcy as water levels in Adyar and Cooum rivers and other channels came down following reduced discharge of water from Chembarambakkam, Puzhal and Poondi, and Red Hills rivers dotting the city’s outskirts.
Chennai floods.
A Corporation worker cleaning the garbage mixed with rain water at Vijay Nagar in Velachery in Chennai. Photo: M.Moorthy
9:10 am: We are getting more information regarding train services. State Government has made arrangements for transfer of passengers from Arakkonam Railway Station to Arrakkonam Naval Air Base, says Indigo Airlines Regular train services will be operated by Southern Railways from Chennai City to Arakkonam at 45 min. interval, they add. 9:00 am: These are some of the relief flights operating from the Arakkonam Naval base: Spicejet Cochin – Arr 0945 Arakkonam Dep 1115 – Bangalore Cochin – Arr 1500 Arakkonam Dep 1630 – Bangalore IndiGo Hyderabad – Arr 1130 Arakkonam Dep 1300 – Bangalore Bangalore – Arr 1645 Arakkonam Dep 1815 – Delhi Air India Hyderabad – Arr 1315 Arakkonam Dep 1445 – Hyderabad Hyderabad – Arr 1830 Arakkonam Dep 1945 – Bangalore 8:25 am: In several parts of the city and on the highways,  This is being reported across the city. Saturday, 7:15 am: Over 600 people including more than 130 university students and an old French couple were taken to safety by a coordinated team of defence and NDRF personnel. Clear weather provided opportunity to the Air Force team to carry our ample number of sorties for relief and rescue operations. The rescued included both stranded civilians and defence personnel many of whom themselves were unable to move around in the wake of the torrential rains that has pounds the city lately. 

Siddharth is a popular actor down South. Ilayaraja is credited with scoring the music for more than a 1000 films

With Tamil Nadu reeling its worst floods ever and rescue operations getting underway, actors Siddharth and RJ Balaji, have done their bit for the those affected.

Siddharth, whose house in the city was submerged under the water, stepped out and helped the people.

The Rang De Basanti star and Balaji formed teams to help people stranded in different parts of the city.

Siddharth was soon joined by actors Vishnu Vishal, Udhayanidhi Stalin, Karthi, Khushbu Sundar and Vishal Krishna Reddy. Popular multiplexes like SPI Cinemas and AGS Cinemas also opened their doors to offer shelter. Many came forward and lent their cars which were used to rescue people from the flooded areas.

It was heartening to see Siddharth and Balaji come out and help people. We were touched by their gesture and thus wanted to help too," Ram Kumar, who joined Siddharth and his team of volunteers, told IANS.

The teams went around the city collecting food packets, 50 to 100 per batch, and other essentials and getting them delivered to people. 

Those who couldn't come out and volunteer were requested to send donations to Chennai Micro Fund trust, which was used to carry out relief work.

Social media played a pivotal role in this movement, helping the city to get back on its feet.

From updating people about the situation on the ground to tracking somebody's whereabouts with the website collating all information, social media played a big role.

Support also came from music maestro Ilayaraja who reached out to a group of hearing and speech impaired children whose convent was submerged under four feet of water.

The 72-year-old insisted on meeting the children, despite being warned of the high water level.

With life yet to return to normal in the state, these stars continue to work round-the-clock doing their bit to help those in need.

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