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Chennai floods: NDRF shifts focus to relief work, over 16,000 rescued

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Chennai: With the rains having slowed down in Tamil Nadu and the surrounding areas, the NDRF has now shifted its focus from rescue to relief work and will deploy its teams with the aim to persuade people to leave their homes and move to safer areas.

“Looking at the predictability to the IMD department, we have stepped up our deployment in Tamil Nadu and surrounding areas. A total of 50 NDRF teams are here and this is so far the most massive deployment in any flood related situation,” NDRF DG OP Singh told ANI.

Emphasizing on the large scale of the relief work, he added that the operation consisted of more than 1500 jawans and over 200 inflatable boats are still at work rescuing people.

“We are trying to step up our activities, especially where it’s still waterlogged. We are also persuading people to leave their homes so we can evacuate them safely. We are also using social media extensively, our helpline is working very effectively and we have inducted a number of technological driven operations,” Singh added.

Earlier, Indian Navy Ship Airavat arrived at the Chennai port from Vishakhapatnam for relief work and began deploying teams laden with amenities and supplies focusing mostly on rescuing marooned people from the waterlogged areas.

Chennai painstakingly tried to restore normalcy as the torrential rains slowed down to light showers, leaving a window open for rescue and relief works to be stepped up. Special trains are being run and flight services are expected to resume partially from today.

Meanwhile, support has been pouring in across the country to Chennai as relief funds, supplies and amenities are making their way to the rain-hit state. (ANI)