CHENNAI: As water recedes and electricity returns to parts of Chennai, the biggest challenge for authorities now is the mammoth task of cleaning up and preventing an outbreak of disease in parts of the Tamil Nadu capital which have been under as much as 18 feet of water for days.
- Municipal workers have launched a huge cleaning operation all over Chennai, removing the slush off streets and pouring bleaching powder in an effort to sanitise areas which have been under water after days of torrential rain.
- Supplying drinking water is a major challenge as authorities fear groundwater facilities may be contaminated in several areas. Water tankers have been pressed to bring drinking water to places. There is also a lack of milk, food supplies and electricity in many parts.
- Chennai airport has opened for limited flights to help bring relief supplies. Officials say commercial flight operations will resume once power is restored. Junior civil aviation minister Mahesh Sharma has said it will take at least another two days for commercial flights to resume fully.
- The Met department has predicted light to moderate rainfall till Sunday. Intermittent rain continued in parts of Chennai on Saturday.
- While ministers claimed 85 per cent of power facilities have been restored, telephones, bus and train are also in partial operation, residents in several parts have expressed anger over the government’s response.
- Water levels in Adyar and Cooum Rivers are down. Areas such as Kotturpuram, Mudichur, Pallikaranai, Velachery, Munipakkam, Thoraipakkam, Tambaram and Sholinganallur are still waterlogged. Power supply is still out in severely waterlogged areas.
- Connectivity still remains a huge challenge with power outages and mobile signals weak in most areas. Long queues are being reported outside petrol pumps and ATMs.
- More than 16,000 people have been evacuated by the national disaster response force. Thousands more have been rescued by the Army and state disaster response teams.
- Torrential rains have left at least 245 people dead since October 1.
- Schools, colleges and offices in Chennai have been forced to close and exams have been postponed.
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