The US Consulate General in Chennai had also issued an Emergency Message for US citizens, obviously warning of the severe flooding taking place in the region, Toner said. The spokesman said they were also “not aware of any US citizen deaths or injuries as a result of the flooding.
Meanwhile,AmeriCares based out of Stanford,CT deployed medical teams to Tamil Nadu. The first team, organized by the AmeriCares India office in Mumbai in partnership with the Indian Medical Association,departed on Dec 5,headed to Chennai, Thiruvaloor and Kanchipuram. AmeriCares is focused on ensuring families displaced by the floods have access to essential primary care services,including medication,as well as health and hygiene products that will help prevent the spread of communicable diseases.AmeriCares is also delivering water purification tablets and jerry cans in areas without access to clean water. “Cholera,Typhoid,Dysentery and other waterborne disease are a major concern,”said Shripad Desai,managing director of AmeriCares India. “ We will help insure families affected have access to medical care and safe drinking water to help prevent the spread of infectious disease.” AmeriCares has been aiding survivors of natural disasters, political conflict and extreme poverty around the world for more than 30 years,saving lives and building healthier futures for people in crisis.To make a donation to support AmeriCares flood response in Tamil Nadu, go to ameriCares.org/tamilnadufloods.
Major US IT and automobile firms, including Cognizant,CISCO, Ford temporarily closed offices and manufacturing plants in and around the city. While US-listed Cognizant shut all its 11 offices in the city, Cisco asked its employees to work from home.
Similarly, automobile company, Ford temporarily suspended operations at its plant in Chennai.
The IT companies, however, maintained that operations were unaffected as alternative measures were put in force including servicing clients from centres outside Chennai, which houses some of the biggest Indian and global IT and outsourcing companies.
“In view of the situation resulting from incessant rains in Chennai and the meteorological department’s forecast of heavy rains, Cognizant offices in Chennai are closed.However, there is no disruption to work on critical projects and 24×7 operations support,” a Cognizant spokesperson said on Dec 2.
Cognizant has its largest presence in the city with 60,000 people across 11 facilities. Ford India too suspended operations at its Chennai plant. “Continued heavy rains in Chennai have resulted in significant flooding in the area with many roads impassable. For the safety of our employees, we have halted production at our Chennai assembly and engine plants,”a company spokesperson said in a statement on Dec 2. According to a report in The Indian Express, many of the city’s info-tech facilities are built on marshlands,water-bodies and water courses. The city’s famous automobile manufacturing hubs are located in the catchment area of lakes and are prone to flooding. Facebook stepped in to provide its users with a way to reassure concerned loved ones. The website activated its Safety Check feature early ,allowing people to mark themselves as “safe” from the floods. The feature, which debuted in October 2014, has now been deployed on several occasions, the most recent —somewhat controversially — being last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris.