India

Chennai begins floods clean-up

Municipal workers clear the debris in an alley after flood waters receded in Chennai, India, December 7, 2015 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Garbage and sludge have collected on the streets

A major clean-up operation is under way in the southern Indian city of Chennai (Madras) after a week of devastating floods.

Water levels are receding from most parts of Tamil Nadu state, where at least 280 people are now known to have died in floods since last month.

Garbage and sludge have collected on the streets and sewage has entered homes, damaging properties.

The rains, the heaviest in 100 years, are being blamed on climate change.

BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi in Chennai says people have begun cleaning up their houses, offices, shops and showrooms, all of which had been submerged.

"Floodwaters damaged three TV sets, two refrigerators, washing machine, beds and a sofa in our three-bedroom house," Shobana, a resident, said.

"Worse, we lost all our important papers that were kept in our almirah [cupboard]."

Soldiers and emergency workers are now rushing food, clean drinking water and medical supplies to flood-hit residents, reports say.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption A boy puts his school books out to dry as floodwaters recede in Chennai
Image copyright AFP
Image caption People are slowly returning to their homes
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Debris from damaged houses have clogged neighbourhoods
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Water levels are receding in the city
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The airport in the city was badly hit, but is resuming operations
Image copyright AP
Image caption Soldiers and emergency workers are now rushing food and clean drinking water to flood-hit people

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