Chennai rains: Chief Minister Stalin visits flood relief camp; 12 lives lost, 11 others undergoing treatment

CM Stalin said in the nine districts including Chennai that were hit by torrential rains, a total of 61,666 relief camps were set up.

BySouth First Desk

Published Dec 05, 2023 | 11:59 AMUpdatedDec 05, 2023 | 4:16 PM

Chennai rains

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin visited the flood relief camps in Chennai on Tuesday, 5 December, following the devastation caused by heavy rains and flooding in the city due to Cyclone Michaung.

The official toll of deaths due to rains rose to 12, as fishing boats and farm tractors were used to rescue people stranded in waterlogged areas in and around the city on Tuesday.

There was respite from rains in most parts of Chennai since Tuesday morning giving time to officials to focus on rescue and relief efforts in rain-affected areas.

Officials said Chennai airport was reopened since 9 am, and airlines and other stakeholders have been asked to resume their operations.

The water has receded in the Chennai airport area and there is no water stagnation in the runways or taxiways, officials said, adding that a lot of slush and filth was being cleared out.

Officials said that priority is being given to departures to clear the stranded passengers at the airport.

There are 21 aircraft on the ground and around 1,500 passengers inside the Terminals at Chennai Airport, officials said, adding that an adequate quantity of food is available in the airport outlets.

‘Relief measures taking place on a war footing’

Addressing a press conference at the Chennai Corporation headquarters on Tuesday morning, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said relief measures are taking place on a war footing.

Stalin said in the nine districts including Chennai that were hit by torrential rains, a total of 61,666 relief camps were set up with about 11 lakh food packets and one lakh milk packets distributed so far.

The Chennai corporation has brought in 5000 workers from other districts to the city for the flood mitigation works. These workers used farm tractors and fishing boats in flooded areas including Periamet and some other north Chennai areas to rescue people and to distribute relief materials.

While power supply was being restored in phases within Chennai, residents in areas including parts of suburban Tambaram, Ashok Nagar, Kattupakkam and Perungudi complained that there was no sign of power restoration despite rains having stopped for several hours.

In the Muthialpet locality on the city’s outskirts, 54 families were rescued, and a woman who had just given birth was relocated to a safer place from Saligramam in the city.

More than 250 people from low-lying areas found refuge at a school camp in Kotturpuram. Additionally, 22 passengers stranded after their local bus got stuck in rainwater, were transferred to a relief camp set up at the Middle School in Pallavaram.

The Chennai Corporation has brought in 5000 workers from other districts for flood mitigation works in the city. These workers utilised farm tractors and fishing boats in flooded areas such as Periamet and other parts of north Chennai for rescue operations and distributing relief materials.

Rains expected to stay away

An independent weather blogger from Chennai reported that Chennai and its suburbs can focus on relief and rehabilitation as rains are expected to mostly stay away for the next 48 hours.

“As Cyclone Michaung brushes against coastal Andhra Pradesh for landfall in a few hours between Kavali and Machulipatnam, coastal AP may see widespread heavy rains between Nellore and Kakinada,” the blogger said.

Related: Cyclone Michaung in Andhra Pradesh: Landfall expected near Bapatla

12 rain-related deaths

A dozen people lost their lives in various rain-related incidents in and around the city while personnel on fishing boats and farm tractors were engaged in rescuing stranded people on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, 11 others, who sustained injuries in rain-related incidents, were receiving treatment in various hospitals, officials said.

Among the 12 people who lost their lives in rain-related incidents were a 60-year-old woman in Foreshore Estate and a 48-year-old man who worked as a head constable at the Integral Coach Factory police station, according to an official release.

Further detailing the DDRT’s measures, the official release mentioned the rescue of three individuals trapped when a makeshift generator room collapsed due to heavy rains. Additionally, three members of a family were safely evacuated after their house was submerged in water in Adyar.

The release also noted the closure of nearly 16 subways due to inundation and the removal of fallen trees at 60 locations.

Two of the victims died of electrocution while one person was killed after a tree fell on him in the upmarket Besant Nagar area of the city, an official release said.

Two unidentified bodies — of a man and woman — were found in different rain-affected parts of the city, the release said.

Calls for help

Social media site X has been flooded with requests for help from the people of Chennai, seeking evacuation from their flooded homes.

In an attempt to help the citizens, a mosque in Chennai has opened its doors for the people.

Due to the incessant rains, people have also been facing a shortage of food, and clean drinking water.

The Greater Chennai City Corporation has set up 162 operating relief camps accommodating 2477 residents of Chennai.

Related: Cyclone Michuang exasperates Chennaiites with that sinking feeling

Congress demands relief from Union government

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday urged the Union government to provide all possible help to states affected by Cyclone Michaung.

In a post on X, Kharge said it is distressing to witness the impact of the cyclone in Tamil Nadu, where precious lives have been lost.

“The cyclone is expected to make its presence felt in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Puducherry, and may cause heavy rains in Jharkhand.

“All the state governments must receive every possible assistance from the Union Government in this hour of need. We must be together to avert any crisis,” the Congress chief said.

Asserting that the safety of the people is paramount, he also requested the Congress workers to provide all help to fellow citizens.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi also condoled the loss of lives in the cyclone.

“Distressed by the news of the destruction and deaths caused by Cyclone Michaung in Tamil Nadu.
My heartfelt condolences to those who have lost their loved ones,” he said on X.

“As the cyclone advances, I urge Congress leaders and workers of TN, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, to extend all possible support to their govt’s relief and rescue efforts,” he added.

(With PTI inputs)