Chennai: In a big relief for Chennai, rains have stopped in the capital and the water level is said to be receding fast, however, the city is still cut off and life is still difficult for people here.
With many areas in the city still remaining under water and supplies of essential commodities to most affected areas cut off, the rescue agencies have expedited the relief work, especially in the severely waterlogged areas and are trying to restore increasing communication levels.
"The rains have stopped for now and its intensity has reduced. Out team will be heading out aggressively to the areas where people are stranded, especially where waterlogging is causing major trouble. We have broken up our teams into sector and have dispersed them in south Chennai where the damage is the most," DG NDRF OP Singh was quoted as saying by ANI.
Going into details about the rescue operations planned, Singh said around 20 more teams will be deployed, totalling the teams to 50 in the flooded state as the operations intensify. Five teams that left from Punjab have reached today and five more team from Guwahati and Patna will be reaching today.
"We have rescued more than 9,000 people so far. Our biggest priority is to recue people and ensure them to safety. Our coordination is with the State Government and we have spoken to the Home Secretary and the relief commissioners as well," Singh added.
In a positive note he added that power has been successfully restored to the areas where there is no waterlogging and that the overall levels of communication have improved massively.
The water flow in Adyar river has come down and the amount of surplus water was released into the river from the Chembarambakkam lake.
The Southern Railways have announced special trains to Tirunelveli, Rameswaram and Howrah from Chennai Beach station.
In heavily flooded areas like Mudichur and Tambaram, people were looking up to the skies praying for the rains to stop, and for relief materials.
Even though the torrential rains have stopped battering Tamil Nadu for now, the Indian Railways are still facing the herculean task of restoring services as the tracks at major station remain submerged.
"The tracks are still submerged at Chennai Egmore and Chennai Central which is making both entering and leaving the stations almost impossible. But we are working very hard nevertheless to help people," Railways Public Relations Officer Anil Saxena told ANI.
Meanwhile, support has been pouring in across the country to Chennai as relief funds, supplies and amenities are making their way to the rain-hit state.
"Chennai is fighting back and we are with you. My thoughts are with people who have lost their dear ones. Praying that each of you will overcome these challenging times and bounce back to normalcy #ChennaiFloods," former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar tweeted today.
Prime Minister Modi earlier took stock of the situation arising out of incessant rains in coastal parts of Tamil Nadu over the last few weeks. He also conducted an aerial survey of the flood affected areas and announced a relief package of Rs. 1000 crores. (ANI)
Meanwhile, the US has offered assistance to India in meeting the humanitarian challenge posed by the Chennai deluge and condoled the loss of lives in the worst flooding faced by the city in decades.
"The US stands ready to assist the people of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, as well as the Government of India as they face the worst flooding in decades," State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.
"We express our deepest condolences to the families of the people who have perished in these floods, and our thoughts are with those families who are still trapped and whose livelihoods are affected," he said yesterday.