Chennai Deluge: Heavy rains throw normal life out of gear, several flights cancelled



A flooded road in Chennai
A flooded road in Chennai

Chennai does not seem to be getting any respite from the rains. Tamil Nadu has been battling with heavy rains for days and the capital  has been brought to its knees after a third spell of torrential rains lashing the city, further increasing the agony of the people.

As a part of the rescue operations, two columns of Army’s Garrison Infantry Battalion have been pressed into service in Tambaram and Oorapakkam, after the Tamil Nadu government sought military assistance. According to latest reports, the  death toll in Tamil Nadu in rain-related incidents has  risen to 188, since October. Many low lying areas in Chennai have been water logged making commuting virtually impossible.

The rain fury has flooded runways forcing authorities to cancel all flights, while trains were either stopped or diverted because of water overflowing onto the tracks.The weather office said a slow-moving depression over southwest Bay of Bengal has triggered the fresh bout of heavy rain in Tamil Nadu, which is still smarting from a cyclonic storm that hit the state in November.  Authorities will take a call on resuming flight operations if the water recedes and conditions become favourable later in the day.

A Bloomberg report said, flights were likely to remain cancelled until 6 am on Thursday. Around 4000 passengers are stranded at the Chennai airport, where the runway is under water.The airport was a scene of chaos with hundreds of fliers left stranded as no flights could take off because of the weather and the inundated runways while incoming flights were diverted to Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Vijayawada. At least 19 trains have been cancelled. Thousands of train passengers were stuck at different places in Chennai and on the outskirts.

Army, navy and NDRF rescue teams were deployed in the worst-affected localities of Chennai and other parts of the state as the rain, initially triggered by a cyclone some days ago, inundated vast tracts of land, especially in the coastal areas.

“The situation is quite grim. We have offered all support to the state government. NDRF teams are there on the ground,” said the  MoS (Home) Kiren Rijiju, while closely monitoring the situation.


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