Rains ease in Chennai after thousands rescued from floods

(Bikas Das, AP)
(Bikas Das, AP)

New Delhi - Water levels started falling in the flooded Indian metropolis of Chennai on Friday after a dry night, but many areas remained cut off, officials and news reports said.

"Water in many city areas has receded, power has been restored in areas that are no longer waterlogged," National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) chief OP Singh said.

Singh said rescue operations were continuing in some areas. "So far the NDRF has rescued 9 000 people."

The Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and local government departments were all assisting in relief and rescue work.

Chennai's main airport has been closed since Tuesday but seven flights had been arranged from a naval base at Arakkonam on the outskirts of Chennai to fly out stranded passengers, the government said.

The city, India's fourth largest and the hub of one of the most industrialized regions in India, is still largely cut off from the rest of the country with air, road and rail transport services suspended.

Prices of increasingly scarce foods like milk and vegetables have skyrocketed, NDTV news channel reported.

Unusually heavy rains since Tuesday led to rivers that criss-cross Chennai flooding their banks.

The city had another period of serious flooding in mid-November during the October-December wet season.

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