India: Rains in Tamil Nadu kill 71

17th Nov 2015
India: Rains in Tamil Nadu kill 71

By Mubasshir Mushtaq

 

MUMBAI, (AA): Heavy rains continued to hit many parts of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Monday for the second consecutive day killing 71 people in the state as authorities in the capital city of Chennai braced the challenge to restore basic services like power outage.

State authorities said a total of 71 people have died in the state in rains that first started Thursday night after a deep depression over Bay of Bengal passed over the Chennai coast. The causes of death include electrocution and drowning.

TV images showed Chennai’s main roads under waist-deep water. Meanwhile, submerged railway tracks forced the state authorities to cancel many inter-city trains. Abandoned cars and motorcycles were seen floating on the roads.

Furthermore, there has been no power in the southern part of the city. Offices, schools and colleges remained shut as hundreds of people were left stranded on submerged pavements and railway platforms.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday tried to visit her home constituency RK Nagar, in Chennai, but her convoy was stuck because of the water-clogging, local reports said.

Jayalalithaa announced a relief and rehabilitation package of 5 billion Indian rupees ($75.83 million) as her state government came under criticism from opposition parties for its alleged failure to manage the flooding after the excessive rain.

Jayalalithaa said she sought the Indian Army’s help to evacuate people stuck in flooded areas of the state. She said that her government has set up 70 relief camps and 40 medical camps and that 58,000 food packets have been distributed to the victims.

Several rivers in the city and nearby districts overflowed as rains and flooding uprooted electric poles and trees.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), a federal agency, airlifted dozens of stranded people from the Ashok Nagar area of the city. In low-lying areas of the city, rescue teams used boats to evacuate many residents.

India’s meteorological department on Monday said that heavy rain was expected to continue for the next 24 hours.

 

[Photo: Monsoon floods in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India in October 2008. Photographer: McKay Savage, Creative Commons]

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