The Union Minister also told the Lok Sabha that 54 people had been killed in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and two in Puducherry.

"There are no two opinions that the situation in Tamil Nadu is alarming. It is not an exaggeration to say that Chennai has turned into an island," Singh said.

He cited all highways leading to Chennai were closed for the past two days. Chennai, the Union Minister said, had received torrential rains, and the Meteorological Department has predicted more rains in the next two-three days.

Singh said 30 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and seven columns of the army were engaged in relief and rescue work.

The navy had also deployed boats and divers. He stated the central government would provide all necessary assistance sought by the Tamil Nadu government. Singh said the Tamil Nadu government had demanded Rs.8,480.93 crore for flood destruction and Rs.940 crore had been released as immediate relief.

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