With heavy rains continuing in Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai, there is little respite in store for the residents.
The Indian Meterological Department has predicted heavy to very heavy rains for Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry over the next 48 hours.
The forecast is especially grim for the northern districts of Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram.
The trough of low pressure now lies over Southwest Bay adjoining Sri Lanka off Tamil Nadu, officials at the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) said.
Under its influence, widespread rains are expected across the state on Wednesday, with the possibility of “scattered heavy to isolated very heavy rainfall over coastal districts”.
LS Rathore, Director General, India Meteorological Department (IMD), has said that the situation is unlikely to improve over the next few days.
“The rain in coastal areas of South India is expected to continue for next 72 hours. Situation is worse in north Tamil Nadu, and now heavy rains are expected in south Tamil Nadu and Kerala too,” Rathore said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning held a meeting with senior ministers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Venkaiah Naidu on the situation in Chennai. A discussion is being held in the Lok Sabha.
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that state-run operator BSNL will not charge anything for a week in Chennai. He also said that there will be no non-payment disconnections till the end of December.
The Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the National Disaster Response Force are out on the streets to rescue people from their flooded homes. “We have never seen so much rain and destruction in Chennai,” said Union Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju.
Residents were seen climbing out of their homes or being pulled out to safety in the low-lying parts of Chennai where water is almost neck-deep. SOS messages on social media have led to rescues from buses, cars and rooftops.