NDRF doubles strength of rescue teams to 1,200

NDRF teams have doubled the number of their rescuers in the rain and flood-battered Chennai.

New Delhi: NDRF teams have doubled the number of their rescuers in the rain and flood-battered Chennai and adjoining areas to 1,200 even as the force today decided to penetrate deep into the affected areas to aid the marooned.

A meeting of the Crisis Management Group was held this morning here under the Chairmanship of Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi along with officials of Ministries of Defence, Food, Railways, Agriculture, Health, Department of Telecommunication, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), India Meteorological Department (IMD) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

"We have 30 teams, each having 40 members, working in these areas now and we plan to concentrate in the areas of south Chennai which are the worst affected. The meeting took stock of the preparedness of various agencies," NDRF Chief O P Singh said after the meeting held at North Block.

He said the force has deployed about 110 inflatable and other kinds of boats and separate assortment of buoys and life jackets with the rescue and relief teams so that the needy and the marooned get help.

The meeting also decided to move two additional columns of the army in these areas even as officials of these central departments were asked to keep in constant touch with their Tamil Nadu counterparts. One column of the army comprises around 75 personnel. Singh said NDRF has rescued about 2,400 affected people till now to safer areas.

"We are hopeful of getting into more and more areas today as the rains have slowed down since yesterday and we have seen water receding in many areas. We are hopeful of doing more than what we did yesterday," he said.

The force has also deployed 2 teams, out of the 30, in Puducherry while another set of NDRF teams are on standby at Patna and Pune which can be airlifted at short notice, he said.


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