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2 days after Cyclone Vardah, Chennai picks up the pieces

Source: PTI
December 14, 2016 15:11 IST
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Two days after Cyclone Vardah left a trail of devastation in Chennai and other districts, public services have been partially restored with several government agencies working round-the-clock to ensure complete normalcy.

IMAGE: National Disaster Response Force personnel conduct relief operations after the landfall of Cyclone Vardah. Photograph: PTI Photo

While flight operations have already resumed, inter-intra state train services also were partially operating since Tuesday night, they said.

City buses, Metro Rail, local northern train services (Arakkonam, Gummidipoondi-Central) and southern (Beach-Tambaram and beyond) were restored but MRTS trains were yet to become functional again.

Electricity supply and communication lines which also bore the brunt were restored in some parts of the city. Mobile internet connectivity is yet to be fully restored while there is no broadband connectivity.

People could not make digital payments or swipe their cards at POS outlets due to absence of connectivity. A miniscule number of ATMs could be seen dispensing cash and serpentine queues were seen in front of these machines.

Civic workers from several districts from Central and southern districts continued to be deployed to clear fallen trees and restore road traffic in affected regions.

IMAGE: A man repairs the broken roof of his house as a woman looks on following Cyclone Vardah which brought normal life to a standstill in Chennai. Photograph: PTI Photo

The cyclonic storm, which was the most intense to hit the Tamil Nadu coast nearly after two decades, left a trail of destruction at several places and 18 persons lost their lives in rain-related deaths. The government also announced a compensation of Rs four lakh each to the bereaved families.

The state government has sought the assistance of the Centre to immediately sanction Rs 1,000 crore to meet relief and rehabilitation works and also requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to depute a team to study the damage caused.

Telecommunication lines and electricity poles were the worst hit due to the cyclone which also uprooted more than 12,000 trees in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur districts.

Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who has been constantly reviewing the situation since Monday, has been visiting worst affected parts of the city.

More than 15,000 persons, who were living in low lying areas, have been accommodated in 104 relief camps set up by the state government.

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