Heavy rain batters Tamil Nadu, Puducherry

Wed 02 Dec 2015, 10:45:25

Chennai: Army and Navy have been deployed in two suburban areas of Chennai as heavy rains continue to pound several parts of northern Tamil Nadu and Puducherry disrupting normal life.

Two Army columns were pressed into service in Tambaram and Urapakkam last night to undertake rescue on a war footing, while Navy personnel were deployed in Saidapet area to rescue people marooned in low-lying areas.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has already dispatched ten teams of which four are already in Chennai and the rest will be flying in today. NDRF Chief OP Singh said, they are also requisitioning teams from Bengaluru and Andhra Pradesh.

Most areas of Chennai, which have already been lashed by rains for over a fortnight, went under-water yesterday severely disrupting air, rail and road services.

Around 20 flights were put on hold at the Chennai airport last evening as no landing or take-off was allowed due to rain. The operations at the Airport will remain suspended till 9 this morning.

Many south bound trains from Chennai Egmore were also cancelled as tracks are flooded between Villupuram and Tambaram. Half-yearly school exams were postponed, with schools being closed in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts. The rains that have virtually broken a 100-year-old record, with one day's rainfall covering a month's average, have flooded many areas as nearby lakes overflowed into the city.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa last evening and assured all possible support from the Centre.The MeT department has predicted heavy to very heavy rains in the next three to four days.

In Puducherry as well, heavy downpour has thrown normal life out of gear. Many arterial roads lay submerged in flood waters. Water logging in low-lying areas is keeping people indoors. About a thousand people are sheltered in special relief camps and the administration is distributing food packets to the affected. Puducherry which receives 1200 mm rainfall on an average has seen 834 mm rainfall in November alone.

Chief Minister N Rangasamy visited the flood affected areas yesterday and directed the officials to take all steps possible to mitigate the suffering of people. Schools and colleges in Puducherry and Karaikal are closed for the third consecutive day today.

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