12/02/2015, 00.00
INDIA
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Floods immobilize Chennai: at least 188 victims

The floods have lasted for about 17 days, the army has been deployed. Entire neighborhoods in suburbs are flooded. Local witnesses speak of 90 cm of water. The city airport closed, trains suspended. India is among the world’s countries most affected by climate change disasters.

Chennai (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The death toll from  the heavy flooding that is battering the Indian state of Tamil Nadu has risen to 188. In particular, the city Chennai is plagued by violent floods, where the authorities were forced to deploy the army to help the population. Flights have been canceled and the city airport rail links suspended.

The town is under water, with whole suburbs flooded. Last night the state authorities decided to suspend all flights departing from and arriving to the city airport, after the runways were flooded. About 400 passengers were stranded at the airport, without the possibility of moving. Also the trains were suppressed, with the tracks covered by torrential rains.

According to experts, this is the most violent weather phenomenon of the last 100 years. The city government has asked the help of the army, which was deployed in the most affected areas, especially in the outskirts of Chennai. Even the National Disaster Response Force is helping local people to get to safety.

In addition, the electricity supply was interrupted in 60% of the territory, to prevent short-circuits. Even schools of six districts have suspended all activities for 17 days, that is since the beginning of the storm.

One resident said: "We have not seen rain like this for at least 25-30 years, when the electricity was suspended for a week. You see flooded roads everywhere and the water level in some areas is nearly 90 centimeters. "

The report forecasts that the rains will continue for several more days. According to a recent UN report, India is among the top three countries in the world (together with the US and China) most affected by disasters caused by climate change. These are the most violent floods in 20 years.

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