As water levels in rain-hit areas of Chennai recede, the number of people killed in the floods this monsoon has risen to 450, reported The Times of India. Though some rain was reported in a few sections of the city in the last 24 hours, armed forces and National Disaster Response teams have been continuing operations, switching from rescue to relief work. The Chennai airport also resumed partial operations on Sunday morning and officials say the airport will function only during the day, for domestic commercial planes. Banks in Chennai will remain open on Sunday, as several people have been left without cash with ATMs running out or becoming dysfunctional because of power outages. In a statement late on Saturday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said it would stay open to support bank transactions and help supply cash to local lenders, the Financial Express reported.
The Disaster Management Cell has started tracking down missing people, as mobile connectivity is slowly being restored to different parts of the city. The Hindu reported that around 200 of 671 people reported missing have been found so far. An official said that efforts to locate people have been hit by the lack of mobile connectivity and landlines, and said that they have been using email to communicate with people. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced Rs 2 lakh for the families of those killed in the floods, and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured. While the state struggles to get back on its feet, criticism has started pouring in for the poor infrastructure that made the effects of the disaster even worse. State Finance Minister and former chief minister O Panneerselvam on Saturday hit out at actor Kamal Haasan’s reported criticism of the relief efforts, and said Haasan was unaware of the reality on the ground. Rain or thundershowers have been forecast at many places in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Lakshadweep and at a few places over Kerala and south interior Karnataka for today.
On Thursday, 18 critically ill patients at MIOT hospital died because of a power outage. On Friday, the bodies of a retired Army officer, his wife, and six others were pulled out from Nandambakkam, close to the hospital. Officials said the victims had likely been trapped by water from the nearby Adyar river, with 50,000 cusecs being let out without warning on Tuesday night according to locals.