People

Chennai Floods: Stories of Struggle, Humanity and Heroism!

2021? Much like 2015 rains with History repeating itself!

November and December 2015 are two months that any and every Chennaite is traumatized about because of the Floods that happened and the number of casualties and lives lost. The floods back then were such a catastrophe that the whole of Tamil Nadu and a few other states in the South only remember the year for the disaster. For the past 6 years, every time it rains, Chennaites only pray that the 2015 floods should not happen again. Yet, the rains that have currently hit the whole of the South are inundating common people. 

Just like 2015 rains, this year also saw hundreds of cars parked on either side of flyovers in areas like Velachery, Pallikarnai, etc. All over Chennai mainly, people are struggling as water has entered their homes and they have nowhere else to go. With streets filled with knee-deep water, many have taken boats to reach a safe place. While the whole city has gone underwater, let us look at some stories of struggle, humanity and heroism during these tough times. 

When Arunachalam first moved to Chennai back in July this year, he never thought he would ever be placed in a situation where his home would be submerged in water. A 23-year-old, Arun moved to Chennai as he got a job and has been staying at a house in West Mambalam along with 3 of his colleagues. All four of them are new to Chennai as they hail from other parts of Tamil Nadu, namely Cuddalore, Coimbatore, Erode, and Madurai.

On the night of 6th November (Saturday), Arun and his colleagues found it really difficult to get a cab back home because of the rains. Somehow, after a long day, they reach home and shut their eyes, only to wake up at 6 am in the morning to find their home submerged in water. “We had no idea as to how to stop the water because it started filling up our house so fast. We tried keeping all our important items at a height, but we still couldn’t save our DSLR and Laptops,” Arun recalled. Their beds and their clothes were already damaged as the water entered with such speed.

Only when they stepped out of their house did they see that the house opposite to theirs was fully submerged and was in a worse state. The bikes that they each owned (4), were also submerged in water. “Our neighbors had two newborn babies. Their house was in a worse condition and they were in desperate need of help. Two of us walked through the flooded streets to find milk for the babies and after quite a search we found some milk,” he said. Having taken a few important things, they first took forte in the house above their flat, hoping and waiting for the water to recede. 

On realizing that the water level is only increasing and not decreasing, they packed a few essentials like basic clothes, that were not damaged and left for their office. “I work at a media company, and my company requires our presence for news coverage. So, we went to our office in Royapettah, to find a solution and temporary housing. However, the rains only worsened and we were not even able to step out after that. For the past 6 days, we have been staying in our office without any other place to go to,” Arun added. 

Arun and his colleagues have been staying in their office with nowhere else to go. They have no surety if they will be able to purchase food for their next meal because they basically depend upon restaurants for their meals, and most streets and restaurants have also been submerged in these rains. Thankfully, they at least have an office to take forte at. What is the fate of those who have no other place to go to?

Amidst this wreath of confusion, there’s also a string of heroic activities making their way through the city.

 A video of a police inspector carrying a man who was found unconscious at a cemetery in the TP Chatram area of Chennai has gone viral. The inspector, identified to be Rajeshwari, had carried the man on her shoulders and had caught an auto to rush him to the nearby hospital. Reports said the 28-year-old man was found unconscious at a cemetery as heavy rains battered several regions of Tamil Nadu on Thursday, leading to flooding in many areas of Chennai.

Praise poured from several quarters as the video went viral on social media. The CM also presented a certificate of Appreciation to the officer for her presence of mind. 

As for the effects of the cyclone, police said trees were uprooted in places like Egmore and Perambur. Kumar Jayanth, Principal Secretary, Revenue Department, Tamil Nadu, said 12 people have died since Saturday in rain-related incidents. As of now, the depression has crossed the city, leaving behind waterlogged streets and such acts of heroism to prevail. 

 

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