280 people lost their lives and more than 4,00,000 are displaced. Central Govt has extended the helping hand by deploying NDRF, IAF, Army to rescue and relief activities.
Lying on the coastal line of Bay of Bengal coast, violent storms and thundershowers during the North-East monsoon, generally occurring between September-November, is not new to Chennai. In 2005 also, the southern port city witnessed the floods as a result of heavy rain. Over 50 people were killed in two incidents of stampede for food and money in relief camps. Still, what Chennai has witnessed in the last leg of 2015 is unprecedented in the last hundred years.
Incessant rains which battered the Chennai were not sudden. For the past twenty days deluging the city with heavy waters had already disturbed the normal life. The Tamil Nadu Government stepped in to oversee relief and rehabilitation work at ground level. Schools and colleges were declared holiday for the past twenty days.
Government departments were asked to plunge into relief operations. Food packets were distributed and rescue operations were made. Public were rescued and sent to relief camps.
Central Government has extended the helping hand by deploying NDRF, IAF and Army to rescue and relief activities, thanks to which more than 5000 people were rescued from the stranded locations. Minis-ter of Railways and Civil Aviation have been asked to co-ordinate with the State Government for safe and early evacuation of struck passengers. Central Government have also allocated 1,939.63 crore for the relief operations. Still, 280 people lost their lives and more than 4,00,000 are displaced.
The central and state level political leadership has sprung into action after the devastating experience of December 2, 2015 which saw highest amount of rainfall in a single day. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa made an aerial survey of flood-hit Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts. The state government issued advisory to private undertakings to declare holidays on December 3 & 4, 2015.
As the Chennai airport was completely submerged it is closed till December 6, 2015 and Rajali naval base in Arakkonam is functioning as a make shift airport for passenger flights. Airport Authority of India shifted stranded passengers at Chennai Airport to Tirupati and Bengaluru. The Ministry of Railways also ordered the officers and staff to help the stranded, affected persons, in Tamil Nadu despite challenges. Home Minister Rajnath Singh made a special treatment in Lok Sabha about the situation in the state. Prime minister himself flew to Tamil Nadu, took an aerial survey and assured all help to the state government.
Now the rains have stopped health and rehabilitation issue will be a major challenge. The agencies like ASSOCHAM has estimated the loss of more than fifteen thousand crore, the real damages can be calculated only after the things settle down.