Natural calamities are unavoidable. We might try and be as prepared as we wish, but undoubtedly, they do take us by surprise; Chennai (TN, India) too, was. With unprecedented rains pouring down upon the city, flooding the rivers and lakes, and eventually the entire city of Chennai, was a calamity of magnitude that no one could have ever imagined. But, blaming the rains alone for the disaster is fairly unjust. Mindless urban planning of the city over the past two decades, illegal constructions, no regard for safety and backup measures, and attempts to create a concrete jungle out of the city of Madras, led to this unfortunate calamity, with sure was a surprise, but was anticipated for years.
Hundreds dead, thousands homeless, houses destroyed, families lost, dear ones dead, lack of food, water, and other medical supplies, Chennai has suffered from this all, in a span of about 20 days. The metropolitan city of the south India, was bought to a standstill, with no rail, road, or air connectivity, and no one bothered to bat an eye, until it was too late. So much damage to life and property could have been avoided, if only timely action was taken and the human greed to for reckless urbanization hadn't stepped in.
But let us leave the blame game aside, and empathize with the people of Chennai regarding what happened. Let's see some of the pictures from Chennai, and try and imagine the magnitude of destruction there might have been caused. Let's try and help the city, come back to life. If you wish, you can donate, whatever you like, for the relief program at www.worldvision.in or bhoomikatrust.org.
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When the flooding started, the locals of the city opened their hearts to help, volunteering for relief and rescue work, opening the doors of their own houses to shelter others, malls and theaters welcomed people in to provide them with shelter without any cost, hotels and restaurants distributed food for free. Such is the spirit of the city. But the situation continued to worsen.
See the image above, that's the largest beach in Asia, and the second-largest in the world, the majestic Marina Beach of Chennai. Yes, it got flooded to the brim, you can only imagine hat must have happened to the rest of the city. The NDRF (National Disaster Relief Force) rescue teams, the Indian National Army, Indian Air Force, and the Indian Navy, were deployed in the city for rescue and relief work, and how beautifully they executed the task in hand, is beyond compare. Many people admit that if they are alive today, it is all because of them.
The Chennai airport has been shut down, since 8:30 P.M. on Tuesday, 1st of December. Passengers and travelers have been stranded on the airport. No way to even get out and reach your home or a hotel room. But Partial operation of the airport was started on the 5th of December.
With the floods taking the entire city by surprise, hospitals were the only facility still up and running and operational. Continuous medical assistance was being provided to patients. But not all was as planned. 14 patients gasped to death as the generators of a private hospital shut down, after water entered the basement, and no supply of oxygen was available to the patients on the ventilators. What's more heartbreaking is that I was listening to the news the day before the incident, and an announcement was made on the channel, regarding the concern of the hospital authorities about this tragic possibility.
The ever jam packed roads of Chennai that housed the hustle and bustle of the traffic of the city were submerged in knee deep waters.
Many areas of Chennai were flooded, with water levels varying from two to fifteen feet. Even the people on the first floor had to evacuate their houses to run for safety.
The Chennai locals, that connect the entire city, were shut down. The source via which half of the city commuted was shut down, and people had no place else to go. Not only the local railway system but connectivity to other neighboring cities was lost.
Chennai has seen the worst of the times in the past 20 days. But the spirit of the city hasn't been shattered. The local buses are now up and running, and they are not charging the passengers. The toll booths all across the state of Tamil Nadu have been closed, Uber is offering free cab services, the youth of the city and the Defense Forces trying effortlessly, to bring city back to normalcy, the city sure has a bright future ahead. The following is a montage of the destruction caused in the city, I am sure it would leave every eye damp.
Please help Chennai rise again, and I urge you, to donate, and help the people in need. Links for donation are available on the top. Thank you.