Chennai has recorded unprecedented rainfall that has surpassed century-old records. Heavy rains have pounded parts of Tamil Nadu and inundated most areas of Chennai, severely disrupting flights, train and bus services, and forcing postponement of half-yearly school exams as the state braces for more showers in the next four days. The rare event, according to experts, may be linked to the global meteorological event El Nino, which is usually associated with a dry monsoon spell in India.
The official meteorological reason for the current spell of rains is the following: “…a slow-moving depression over southwest Bay of Bengal has triggered the fresh bout of heavy rain in Tamil Nadu from a cyclonic storm that hit the state in November.” However there are larger climate forces at play.
The death toll in rain-related incidents has reached 269. The financial loss due to the floods may exceed Rs.15,000 crore, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham). The Tamil Nadu state government had earlier put the total loss at Rs.8,481 crore after the first spell of rains.
The recurring torrential rains in Tamil Nadu has left hospital services severely affected in Chennai, and ambulances are not able to get through the water logged streets. The airport authority of India has announced that airport operations in Chennai will be shut down until December 6 due to water-logging on the runway.
Auto majors Hyundai, Ford and Renault have temporarily suspended operations at their plants in Chennai (called the Detroit of India). With schools being shut down for more than two weeks, the TN government has also asked all private companies to declare holidays or work from home.
Organizing their own rescue
With no rescue services operating at places and no essential supplies being received, people have taken whatever junk material they can lay their hands on and created their own rescue boats that will enable them to float to safety.
Good samaritans to the rescue
Locals have been posting their addresses online, offering food and shelter to anyone who needs it. Theaters, malls and restaurants have thrown open their doors. The local fishermen of Chennai are rowing their boats on the flooded streets of the city to rescue those who are stranded.
Celebrities like actors Siddarth and RJ Balaji, dancer Anita Ratnam and singer Chinmayi are doing their best to help those stranded while sharing images on Twitter with the hashtags #ChennaiRainsHelp #ChennaiFloods.
How can you help?
Below is one such organization seeking monetary contributions:
Contributions in Indian rupees can be made towards Bhoomika Trust (A/c no: 006010100609760 at Axis Bank, Radhakrishnan Salai, Chennai) IFSC Code: UTIB0000006, MICR Code: 600211002 Online contributions in INR can be made through (www.truegiftsindia.org)
Foreign Contributions can be made towards Bhoomika Trust FCRA A/c (A/c no: 006010100611060 at Axis Bank, Radhakrishnan Salai,Chennai) IFSC Code: UTIB0000006, MICR Code: 600211002
Please mention disaster relief in your mail to firstname.lastname@example.org regarding donations. Bhoomika Team (Office Ph : 044–24981967 / Latha Subramaniam (98841 14111) / V.Purushothaman-95000 10770)
As well as here: