Rains have been lashing Tamil Nadu since December 1, 2015, bringing normal life to a halt, flooding streets and homes, submerging properties and rendering thousands of people without the basic necessities of life.
Shops, schools and offices remained closed for several days as railways tracks and roads became running rivers with boats brought to rescue people from their homes and other places. ‘The Hindu,’ the largest selling newspaper in Tamil Nadu, for the first time in its 137-year-history was unable to publish its Chennai edition on December 2.
The domestic and international airports were closed with all flights cancelled as aircraft of national and international airlines were deluged by rain floods. There has been semblance of normalcy with some flights resumed in the past few days but reports indicate that it would take a long time for Chennai and other affected cities to dry themselves of rain floods.
Rain that was meant to be spread out over the monsoon months, poured in just a few days flooding coastal cities of Tamil Nadu mainly Chennai, Cuddalore, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur, which took the worst blow.
An Association of Chambers of Commerce in India Report said that about 280 people died in the floods, while more than 1.8 million people have lost their homes, shops and properties. The original estimate of loss of US$ 15 billion continues to rise.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the State and surveyed the affected areas. Following a meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalitha, he released about US$ 3 billion from the National Disaster Response Fund for flood-affected areas in the State.
The Tamil Nadu government was implementing relief and rehabilitation measures on a war-footing in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram.
Tamil Nadu requires everything in this hour of crisis. The Auckland Tamil Association has appealed for cash donations to our ASB Bank Account (12-3082-0222144-00).
Sri Gunasingham, President, New Zealand Sri Lanka Forced Migrants Support Group Inc has also expressed the sympathy and solidarity of his Organisation to the people of Tamil Nadu.
The greatest challenge now is to offer aid to the poor victims and prevent spread of diseases that accompany such natural disasters.
Vai Ravindran is President of Auckland Tamil Association.
1. Flooded roads in Chennai brought boats to move people
2. An old woman being rescued by the Army as rains submerge homes