Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said Chennai has turned into an island. “It would not be an exaggeration to say that. Since the day before, Chennai has been cut off from all national and state highways,” said Singh, responding to a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the flood situation in the country’s southern region. He said the “unprecedented calamity” has so far claimed 269 lives in Chennai, two in Puducherry and 54 in Andhra Pradesh.
The minister added that in the 24 hours beginning December 1, 8.30 pm, Chennai has received 330 mm of rain, which exceeds the rain the city receives for the entire month of December, thereby “breaking a 100-year record”.
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He said in several places the rising water levels have forced authorities to cut electricity connections, while 40 per cent of mobile phone connections and 20 per cent landline connections have been adversely affected.
Singh also told the House that INS Airavat has been deployed for relief and rescue work.