Floods turn India's Chennai into an island

2015-12-03 19:57
A man leads an elderly woman through a flooded street in Chennai. (AP)

A man leads an elderly woman through a flooded street in Chennai. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New Delhi - Flood relief and rescue operations were under way in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Thursday as the death toll in the region's heaviest seasonal rains in 100 years reached 269.

Federal Home Minister Rajnath Singh called the situation "alarming" and said that the state capital, Chennai, had turned into an island.

Since November, he said another 54 people have died in the heavy rains in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh.

Floods worsened in Chennai after water was released into the Adyar River from a overflowing reservoir. Highways leading into the city have been damaged and the waterlogged international airport will remain closed until Sunday, Singh said.

At least 2 000 disaster relief and military personnel were deployed, Singh said, adding that ongoing poor weather was making relief work difficult.

Following an aerial survey of the devastation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Tamil Nadu government would receive 10 billion rupees ($150m) in federal assistance.

Hundreds were stranded at home, food was running short and ATM machines were not working, NDTV news channel reported.

The Metereological Department predicted more heavy rainfall in the region until Saturday.

The coastal city and its hinterland have received two spells of very heavy rain in the October-December wet season, largely due to low-pressure formations over the nearby Bay of Bengal.

Over 40% of telephone connections were down and the electricity had to be disconnected in several waterlogged areas for the safety of residents, Singh said.

The floods in Chennai were caused by unregulated urbanisation and climate change-induced freak weather, Sunita Narain, director general of New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment said.

"In Chennai, each of its lakes has a natural flood discharge channel which drains the spillover. But we have built over many of these water bodies, blocking the smooth flow of water ... We only see land for buildings, not for water," Narain said.
Read more on:    india  |  floods

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.