Chennai grapples with flood aftermath

Displaced residents wade through a flooded street besides a flooded railway track in the flood-affected areas Chennai, India December 3, 2015. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee - RTX1WZNQ

Chennai, Dec 5: The flood-ravaged city was on Saturday struggling to return to normalcy with partial restoration of telecommunication and train services, besides many roads also becoming fairly motorable even as waterlogging woes continued in several areas.

Torrential rains have left at leasts 245 people dead since October 1, according to Tamil Nadu government. The situation took a turn for the worse on Tuesday with large areas of the city flooded. The deluge destroyed crucial road and rail links, shutdown the airport, snapped power and telecom lines and left lakhs of people stranded.

Waterlogging continued in many parts such as Kotturpuram, suburban Mudichur and Pallikkaranai even as hapless residents who had taken refuge on higher floors of buildings were seen pleading for essentials like milk and water which remain in short supply.

There were serpentine queues outside the few ATMs and petrol stations that were operating. Tamil Nadu government has said that the fuel situation will ease in the next couple of days. Banks in the state will remain opentomorrow, though it is a Sunday.

In its bid to link the southern parts of Chennai with the main city, Southern Railway announced operating services on the busy Egmore-Tamabaram stretch bringing much needed relief to the residents.

Although services are generally operated between Chennai beach and Tamabaram, trains are now being operated only between Egmore and Tamabaram and that too only on the main line, southern railway officials said.

In many areas, including Tamabaram, telephone landline services were being restored even as mobile services also picked up pace.

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Rains lashed a few parts of the city overnight but let up in the morning though the sky remained overcast. Supply of milk continued to remain erratic although state-run Aavin had taken steps to ensure adequate supply of the essential commodity. Vegetables continued to remain costly.

Many parts of the city and its neighbourhood were still reeling from power suspension even as false rumours of breach in Chembarapakkam lake in the night kept people living on its bank on tenterhooks. Police later informed that these were mere rumours and that there was no need to panic.

The rescue work was being spearheaded by the armed force but people in many localities claimed that the the local administration did not adequately address their problems.

Chennai airport, which had suspended operations due to flooding, is likely to resume technical ferry and relief flights.



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