Chennai Deluge : Waging a battle against unprecendented rain fury

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A Flooded road in Chennai
A Flooded road in Chennai

Humanity has not lost it all. Chennaites prove it after the heaviest rains in a century caused massive flooding in India’s fourth most populous city. Irrespective of religion, Chennaites show their kind heart to help each other in this difficult times. Even as Army personnel are finding it difficult to reach all parts of the state and Government officials trying its best in the non cooperative weather, Chennaites threw their doors open inviting people who are suffering to their homes.

While most mobile networks were down in the city and food supplies running low, good samaritans use social media to reach out to people who are stranded in different parts of the city with food packets, biscuits, milk, medicine, sanitary pads and other essential commodities.

“ I earn Rs. 50000 per month. But my family has not eaten anything in the last 24 hours. I’m worried of my young children. I realized that the money I have is nothing but paper”, says V Ramesh whose family is stranded in Saidapet. He is expecting some food packets from his friend’s house.

Braving the rain and raising water level, students and general public help people reach safe places from stranded areas. Some random people bring cooked food in their cars and supply it on roads. Shopping malls and cinema theatres opened doors for the homeless and needy. Several pages on Facebook like #ChennaiRainsHelp, #ChennaiFloods have been opened to help people in trouble with online recharges, medicines and essential supplies. Pushparaj in Thiruvanmiyur area post a comment on Facebook telling he could accommodate two people at his place. Some organizations have crowd sourced places for people to stay and manage to ferry food and supplies.

Most neighbourhoods were without electricity as power was switched off to prevent accidents. “Children kept crying through out the night. Supplies are running out. My old parents are sick and I could not get medicines for them. The situation is scary”, says S Nirmala while anxiously waiting for help.

Most of the shops have been shut and the few shops that remained open in Chennai were virtually raided by customers, with people resorting to panic buying. Many shops ran out of bread, milk and vegetables.

Meanwhile, S. R. Ramanan, director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, said “We expect the rain spell to continue for five more days. This will bring widespread rain or thunder showers over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Thursday and coastal areas will get heavy to very heavy rain,”.

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