Heavy rains lash Tamil Nadu; Toll climbs to 71

RSTV Bureau
Chennai: Police and civic authorities at work on waterlogged road following heavy rains in Chennai, November 2015. Photo - PTI

Chennai: Police and civic authorities at work on waterlogged road following heavy rains in Chennai, November 2015.
Photo – PTI

As incessant heavy rains continue to drown various parts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, normal life remained crippled since last 48 hours with the death toll crossing 70. With India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasting more rains for at least the next two days, no respite seems to be in the offing from the difficult weather condition.

As per the latest reports, after Tamil Nadu, the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh received heavy showers on Monday evening.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has announced “Rs 500 crore towards relief and Rehabilitation with immediate effect” on Monday. The Army’s help has been sought to rescue stranded people in South Chennai, she said.

Detailing the government’s initiatives in the affected districts, the CM said 70 relief and medical camps have been set up, and food packets are being distributed. She also said, of the 587 water logged areas in Chennai, so far 207 locations have been de-clogged.

A well-marked low pressure is formed over the “southwest region of the Bay of Bengal adjoining Sri Lanka and it is likely to move west-northwestwards towards Tamil Nadu coast and would concentrate into a depression for the next 24 hours” Mr. S Ramanan, Regional Meteorological Director told early on Monday.

With heavy water logging reported in several roads across the state, 25 districts have decided to shut the schools, colleges and other educational institutions on Monday. Some private offices too decided to remain shut on Monday, especially after a very heavy overnight shower which left roads out of bounds for the normal traffic movement.

The state capital Chennai has been thrown out of gear for seven days now. Most roads, subways, residential areas and low-lying parts were inundated due to the incessant rains. Many residents were forced to stay put inside their homes following the inclement weather.  Some boats were even spotted being afloat on the water clogged roads.

Chennai: People wade through a waterlogged road following heavy rains at Vyasarpadi in Chennai, November 2015. Photo - PTI

Chennai: People wade through a waterlogged road following heavy rains at Vyasarpadi in Chennai, November 2015.
Photo – PTI

As per the latest reports, water remained stagnant on the  every busy streets of Anna Salai, Santhome High Road, Poonamali High Road and Vadapalani 100 feet road through Monday.

“Vehicles are suddenly stopping in the middle of the road due to engine failures. I’m told travelling by bike is unsafe as two people have died due to severed electricity wires. Luckily my office is off for two days,” Ramalingal, a resident of Chennai told RSTV.

At some low-lying areas, the flood water is reported to be flowing into houses prompting the residents to look for the safer confines. Many areas of the city, including Velachery, Saidapet, Tondiarpet, Ayyanavaram, Villivakkam saw drainage water seeping into residential areas.

“Several NGOs and individuals are volunteering to help, but the government seems inactive. A social network has been created using WhatsApp to help people in need, I have also volunteered in my area,” said Anusha, a resident of Chennai.

As per reports, Sriperumbathur dam surrounding Chengalpet lake has broken resulting in flooding the road that connects Chennai to the southern districts of Tamil Nadu.

Several trains headed north towards Vijayawada and coming from Andhra Pradesh into Tamil Nadu have been cancelled; while trains passing through Chennai have been diverted towards Renigunta. Thousands of acres of rice crops have been reported as decaying due to flooding of fields affecting agriculture and leading to a steady price rise of vegetables.

Following the rising deaths due to the rains, Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa had announced on Sunday a sum of Rs four lakh each to the families of the victims from the state Disaster Relief Fund.