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South India Floods destroy terrible!

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The South Indian city of Chennai has been hit by a most severe rainfall in its history, which has led to massive floods in the city. Over 280 people have been killed so far by the Chennai floods, as the state government struggles to return the state to normalcy.

Citizens of Chennai battle scarcity of food and medical supplies, even as all communication systems and train services have broken down. The worst hit areas of the city are the suburbs. Other places such as Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur were flooded as well. The road and rail links have been damaged and the airport has been shut down.

Palani, a 40-year-old rag picker says, “There are some 300 people who have been forced to move from Sathyanagar because of the flooding. We were not able to bring anything with us because the water rose to chest level. We have been completely dependent on aid from the government and others for nearly a month now. Most of us are daily wage earners and there is no work due to the floods.’’

A lot of people have been forced to sleep outside their homes on the streets as their homes have been completed filled with water. There is a problem with mosquitoes, which have grown because of the floods. Murthy, 32, who has left his apartment because it was flooded and now sleeps under the flyover says, “Blankets have not been distributed equally to all the displaced. Those who already have them seem to be getting more and those who don’t have any remain in the cold.’’

“One of the biggest problems is the lack of toilets. All the people here cannot use the few toilets in the school. Before sunrise, when it is still dark, women have to go with the men to the railway tracks… It is a matter of indignity. There were a couple of makeshift toilets created under the flyover but no water provision was made, and they soon fell into disuse,’’ Murthy added.

A government official who works in the transport department spoke about the severe problems faced by the people of Chennai: “There were very few people taking buses from this bus stand till Thursday, but with the rains easing and the roads clearing, people arrived in droves to leave the city in the evening.” Over 2 million people have been trying to leave the city, but have been unsuccessful so far because the roads have been cut off.

There was a tragedy at a hospital where 18 patients died because of the power shutdown in the ICU. One patient, Shilpa said, “They abandoned us in ICU. There was no power or even a candle light in the ICU. We spent three days in dark chambers. There were no monitors in ICU. There was no hot water for patients. Thank fully few nurses who wanted to help us ensured 120ml oats and a slice of bread. I am stable now. They will panic if they come to know about this from media.”

“We were on the third floor. We had to collect rain water with buckets and small dishes kept for toilet purpose. After the power went off early morning Tuesday, there was absolutely no doctor for the next 24 hours. There was no candle light too. Nurses were the only saviours when all the doctors disappeared,” Shilpa added.

State Chief Secretary K Gnanadesikan explained that the hospital where 18 patients were killed was located in a low-lying area. “It’s responsibility of a big hospital like MIOT to have adequate power supply and power generator. The management had completely abandoned the patients. Law will take its own course.”

Author: Raghav Hegde – India

source photo: indianeexpress

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