Chennai: Army, Navy and Air Force on Thursday continued their relief and rescue operations in flood-affected Chennai by pressing into service multiple flights and evacuating over 5,000 people from submerged parts of the city.
On completion of airlift of four National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) teams from Delhi and 10 others from Bhubaneswar to Arakkonam, four Indian Army columns were today airlifted by the transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
One C-130J from Tambaram to Delhi, and two C-17s from Arakkonam got back stranded passengers to Begumpet and Delhi.
Helicopter operations too were in full swing with four medium lift helicopter, one advance light helicopter and five Chetak/Cheetah involved actively to evacuate stranded people. One helicopter is positioned in Tirupati to aid the Andhra Pradesh government.
The Army has put in total 40 rescue and relief teams and five engineer teams for carrying out rescue operations in the most critical areas of Chennai.
These teams have been operating in areas which are the worst hit by the floods in the areas of Tambaram, Mudichur, Kothurpuram, Pallavaram, Thiruneermalai, Urapakkam, Manipakkam, T Nagar and Gudvancheri towards the outskirts of Chennai and also along areas adjacent to Adyar River.
The rescue teams have successfully rescued over 4,000 stranded people. Military Hospital at St Thomas Mount has been made functional and treatment is being given to many flood- affected patients.
Though limited, troops available at Chennai for carrying out flood relief were kept on high alert following the floods in the city last month.
The Army has also sent additional teams from Bengaluru and is now shifting troops from Secundrabad and Hyderabad for augmenting rescue efforts.
While on its way to Chennai, Army rescue teams from Bengaluru answered distress calls from the worst affected areas and helped stranded civilians along the way.
Inspite fast flowing currents at a few places, the Army teams are presently reaching out to the most affected and critical areas, sources said.
Over 30 Army trucks have also been employed by the rescue teams for ferrying stranded people in areas where the water level is less than 6 feet.
The Army is also rushing in additional nine rescue and relief teams with one medical team from Secunderabad and Hyderabad to Arakkonam by IAF's C17 Globemaster for addressing any contingencies.
With civil communication and Mobile Towers out of Communication in critical areas of Chennai, the Army is resorting to radio communication for coordinating rescue operations and has also successfully re-established communication at some essential locations.