Cheni, Dec 4: Heavy rains battered Cheni again on Friday evening just as life began to limp to normalcy amid persisting power cuts and food shortages here and three other Tamil du districts where floods and downpour have claimed 325 lives.
Thousands of military personnel and social activists were engaged in a major operation of supplying food, water and blankets to thousands trapped in water-logged neighbourhoods -- and rescuing the still marooned.
There was relief as water levels in the main reservoirs and rivers began to fall. But numerous areas were still under water, residents across the city told IANS.
The rains have caused widespread destruction in the districts of Cheni, Cuddalore, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur in Tamil du. By all accounts, the state capital bore the brunt.
Officials said they expected the death toll to rise once the water levels go down, revealing drowned bodies.
Fourteen patients admitted at an intensive care unit of MIOT Hospital near here died due to power failure following floods, an official said.
Prithivi Mohandas, the hospital's maging director, told the media that lights and other equipment ceased to work due to power failure. The hospital's back-up power system also failed.
Power supply has been cut off in flood affected areas in Cheni and the neighbourhood.
As rains halted on Thursday and early Friday, some shops opened in parts of flooded Cheni including Mylapore and Teympet. Electricity supply was restored in some areas.
Most areas were, however, without power. Drinking water was in short supply and so were basic essentials including milk and vegetables.
Officials at the power utility told IANS that electricity supply would be restored as the waters -- which have turned virtually the whole of Cheni into a lake -- recede.
Skeletal public transport was operatiol from Friday morning in some areas. Auto-rickshaws plied but commuters complained that they were being fleeced by drivers.
Residents said supplies of essential commodities were difficult to come by.