Army, Navy come to help flood battling Chennai

Army, Navy come to help flood battling Chennai

Submitted by Subeditor on Wed, 2015-12-02 17:54 New Delhi: As heavy rains continue to pound several parts of northern Tamil Nadu and Puducherry disrupting normal life, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday said the Navy and Army teams were instructed last night to move to the affected areas. The Indian Navy deployed three flood relief teams today for the flood relief. One team comprising of five divers and 15 swimmers with a Gemini reached ground zero last night and rescued 15 stranded people from Gandhi Nagar near Adyar Bridge. The second team, comprising of one officer, 16 sailors, and two Geminis reached the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) Office, Tambaram earlier this morning with 250 food packets, as requested by the State Government. The third team from Rajali consisting of two officers, 50 sailors and 200 food packets were at RDO Tambaram office for central flood relief operation thereafter. Additional boats are also being deployed to the RDO office of Tambaram for use by the team. Last evening, INS Chetlat on Palkbay patrol responded to distress call to rescue missing fishing vessel. The fishing vessel was found and towed to Rameswaram. Shelter for housing 100 needy people has been kept ready at INS Adyar and medical team has been kept on standby for deputing at short notice. INS Airavat ex-Vishakhapatnam is being rushed to Chennai with relief material. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have been launched for assessment of situation in the area. The Navy has also launched a helpline - 044-25394240, which is being manned 24x7. Two columns of army's Garrison Infantry Battalion have been pressed into service in Tambaram and Oorapakkam after the Tamil Nadu Government sought military assistance. After receiving a call of numerous people being trapped in a bus in Medipakkam, a rescue column under an officer was immediately diverted and rushed to the spot. The Army column was able to swiftly rescue about 15 trapped civilians comprising predominantly of women and children from the bus. The rescue teams have rescued and brought over 50 marooned civilians to safety in Gudvancheri and Mudichur. The third Army Rescue Column comprising of troops from the Garrison Battalion was effective today. With civil communication and Mobile Towers out of Communication in critical areas of Chennai, the Army is resorting to radio communication for coordinating rescue operations to reach affected people and rescue them. The fourth Flood Relief and Rescue column is being rushed in from Madras Engineer Group and Centre, Bangalore by road. While flood rescue operations are in progress more Army columns are being brought in to augment rescue efforts. The NDRF is airlifting another 15 teams to the rain-battered state. 10 teams are being airlifted from Bhubaneshwar to Tirupati, while another five teams are being lifted from Delhi. Each team comprises of 40 personnel. The teams are also carrying 20 inflatable boats along with them for the rescue operations. The non-stop torrential rains pounding the city since last night showed some let up in the morning but the inundated streets left commuters stranded. Air and road traffic have been severely hit in Chennai. All flights have been suspended at the Chennai airport, where around 4000 people are stranded. The runway is flooded. Chennai Airport authorities have shut operations till 6 am tomorrow in view of the water logging. All airlines, including Air India, have cancelled their operations from Chennai airport. At least 19 trains have been cancelled. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa last evening and assured all help from the Centre. "Spoke to Jayalalithaaji on the flood situation in parts of Tamil Nadu. Assured all possible support