NDRF doubles strength, rescues 5,000 in Tamil Nadu

Thursday, Dec 3, 2015,16:22 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The NDRF has doubled the number of its personnel in the rain and flood-battered Chennai and adjoining areas to 1,200 even as it rescued over 5,000 people from the marooned areas.

With the addition of 15 more teams overnight to an equal number of units working since yesterday, the force has begun penetrating deep into the affected areas to aid the marooned including in neighbouring Puducherry.

An official update provided by the force here said over 5,000 people have been rescued till now in search and rescue operations in various parts of Tamil Nadu till 3pm. Earlier in the morning, a meeting of the Crisis Management Group (CMG) was convened here under the Chairmanship of Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi.

Officials of Ministries of Defence, Food, Railways, Agriculture, Health, Department of Telecommunications, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) attended the meeting. We have 30 teams, each having 40 members, working in these areas now and we plan to concentrate in the areas of south Chennai which are the worst affected.

The meeting chaired by the Union Home Secretary took stock of the preparedness of various agencies, NDRF Chief O P Singh told after the meeting held at North Block.He said the force has deployed about 110 inflatable and other kinds of boats and separate assortment of buoys and life jackets with the rescue and relief teams so that the needy and the marooned get help.

The meeting also decided to move two additional columns of the army in these areas even as officials of these central departments were asked to keep in constant touch with their Tamil Nadu counterparts, a Home Ministry spokesperson said after the CMG meeting.

One column of the army comprises around 75 personnel. The deployment of the NDRF units Chennai (21 teams), Thiruvallur (1 team), Kanchipuram (4 teams) and Vellore and Cuddalore (one team each).

813 life jackets, 515 life buoys and 20 deep diving sets along with 44 trained deep divers are also engaged to assist the local administration in the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief work, an official spokesperson for the NDRF said.

DG Singh said his teams were hopeful of getting into more and more areas today as the rains have slowed down since yesterday and we have seen water receding in many areas. We are hopeful of doing more than what we did yesterday.

The force has also deployed 2 teams, out of the 30, in Puducheri hile another set of NDRF teams are on standby in Patna and Pune which can be airlifted at short notice, he said. The force has also activated helpline numbers at its contro room here which are 011-24363260, 09711077372. As the Chennai airport is shut due to flooding, the force is operating from the ‘INS Rajali’ Naval airbase in nearby Arakkonam.