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Chennai floods: INS Airavat begins relief work, two more ships to arrive today

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Chennai, Dec. 4 : Indian Navy Ship Airavat that arrived at the Chennai port from Vishakhapatnam for relief work, pressed into action on Friday and began deploying teams laden with amenities and supplies focusing mostly on rescuing marooned people from the waterlogged areas.

“Part of the relief material that we have brought along in INS Airavat has been handed over to the state administration and now we have naval personnel who will go out on boats with ready-to-eat meals and drinkable water. We intend to deploy our team north of the Adyar river and move out south where we will provide relief material to the people stranded in the waterlogged areas of the city,” Rear Admiral Alok Bhatnagar told ANI here.

12 teams have been deployed and three helicopters will airdrop food and water to the stranded people. Two more Navy ships will arrive today with more supplies intended for relief work.

INS Airavat arrived laden with food, dry rations, general items and 1000 litres of water. It has already despatched 20 teams which have already pressed into action. 50 navy personnel’s with eight inflatable boats have been sent to the most affected places of Pallikaranai, Jafferkhanpet and Saidapet.

“There is no dearth of supplies from the Navy’s side and we are in the city to provide relief. We were involved in rescue till now, but now we are concentrating on relief. We have rescued about 500 people until last night and now we expect to provide relief to thousands more,” Rear Admiral Bhatnagar said.

He added that now with the water levels receding, relief work will continue all through the day until all the supplies are distributed.

The NDRF has also intensified its rescue operations, taking advantage of the rain-less situation.

“The rains have stopped for now and its intensity has reduced. Our team will be heading out aggressively to the areas where people are stranded, especially where water-logging is causing major trouble. We have broken up our teams into sectors and have dispersed them in south Chennai where the damage is the most,” NDRF DG O.P. Singh told ANI.

Providing details about the rescue operations, Singh added that around 20 more teams will be deployed, totalling the teams to 50 in the flooded state as the operations intensify.

Meanwhile, in a major relief for Chennai, the MET department has announced that there won’t be any rains for the next 48 hours and that it has withdrawn the ‘heavy rains’ alert.(ANI)