Prime Minister flies to Chennai to take stock of flood situation

Prime Minister flies to Chennai to take stock of flood situation

Relief personnel rescue people from waterlogged areas after fresh rains lashed Chennai on Thursday. Photo IANS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flew to Chennai on Thursday to take stock of the situation arising out of the incessant rains flooding the city.

The official Twitter handle of the PMO posted: “Taking stock, on the ground.. PM taking overview of flood relief operations at INS Rajali, Arakkonam”. Earlier in the day, Modi met with Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to review the situation.

The Centre has announced a relief of Rs 1,940 crore to Tamil Nadu as help to the state government to tackle the situation. The unprecedented rainfall in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu has surpassed all records in a century. Normal life in the city has been thrown out of gears. The city has been going through a difficult time, with all roads flooded, airports and railways shut, causing inconvenience to thousands stranded there.

The problem is grimmer, with power cuts and shortage of food in the city. People are stranded in their apartments and houses and many others forced to leave their homes as water levels rose to flood their houses. All modes of communication have also been affected with family members not being able to connect to their near and dear ones.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, taking cognizance of the situation in Chennai and Tamil Nadu, said, “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.” With more rains being predicted by the meteorological department, Singh has assured all help to the state. Already, 30 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and seven columns of the Army are engaged in relief and rescue work along with the Navy deploying boats and divers for all possible help.

The people of Chennai are also pouring out help for all the affected families in every way possible. There have been people opening their doors to affected families, giving out their apartments as relief shelters, many NGOs and other organisations are providing food and other relief material to all those who are affected. Telecom companies like Airtel, BSNL, Aircel, and Vodafone have announced free calling and internet usage for a period of two days. The NDRF and Indian Air Force teams have been moved from Delhi and other adjoining areas for rescue and relief operations in the city. Doctors are braving the odds to provide medical aid facilities.

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