Home Minister Rajnath Singh describes situation as alarming; informs Lok Sabha that another 54 people succumbed to the downpour in Andhra Pradesh as well
New Delhi: The heaviest rains in Tamil Nadu in over a century, and floods, have left 269 people dead, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said yesterday, describing the situation as ‘alarming’.
Army personnel rescue a youth in flood-hit Chennai after heavy rainfall yesterday. Singh said 30 teams of the NDRF and seven columns of the Army were engaged in relief and rescue work. Pic/PTI
He also told the Lok Sabha that 54 people were killed in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and two in Puducherry.
“There are no two opinions that the situation in Tamil Nadu is alarming. It is not an exaggeration to say that Chennai has turned into an island,” Singh said, adding that all the highways leading to the city were closed.
Chennai, he said, had received torrential rains, and the meteorological department had forecast more rains in the next two-three days.
Singh said 30 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and seven columns of the Army were engaged in relief and rescue work. Even the Navy has deployed boats and divers for search and rescue operations.
Modi announces Rs 1,000 crore relief package
Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday announced a Rs 1,000-crore package to Tamil Nadu for flood relief work.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducts an aerial survey of rain-hit areas in Chennai. Pic/PTI
Speaking after an aerial survey of the flood-hit city and other submerged areas, Modi said he had seen the damage caused by the heavy rains, and the Centre stood by the people of Tamil Nadu. The PM said he has directed the release of funds in addition to the Rs 940 crore announced earlier.
Misery swamps Chennai
Medicines, food and potable water were in short supply as Chennai’s flood woes continued yesterday, with residents also complaining about loss of precious documents. While the flooding of roads across the city has hindered movement, lack of power supply and defunct communication lines are aggravating the misery. T E N Simhan, a private sector employee, said he was desperately trying to get in touch with his cousin in West Mambalam, one of the many areas that remained flooded. “He has to take insulin shots at regular intervals. I am not sure whether he has sufficient stock. I am unable to reach him,” Simhan said. Similarly, hundreds of people have been marooned in the Jafferkhanpet locality near Ashok Pillar, awaiting rescue and relief.
1.64 lakh people in camps
About 1.64 lakh people have been housed in 460 relief camps in the four flood-affected districts of Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said yesterday. The other districts are Cuddalore, Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram.
In a statement issued after an aerial survey of the flooded areas, the CM said Chennai district topped the list with 62,267 people in camps, followed by Kanchipuram (57,516), Thiruvallur (38,495) and Cuddalore (6,358).