CHENNAI: K Shanmugham was asleep in his Velachery apartment when it was flooded recently and realized it only after the water reached the bed on which he lay. The water has since receded but the 65-year-old still lives in fear.

A couple of days ago, he woke up at night and started feeling around his bed. There was no rain that night.

“It began with a continuous sound of pouring. When I woke up, I felt there was water around my bed. I took a candle and was about to light it when my wife told me there was no water in the room. It took some time for me to realise it,” says the retired school teacher.

K Krishnamurthy, too, recently woke up in the dead of the night with a start. Although he had moved to the first floor of his duplex house, Krishnamurthy was concerned about the furniture and book shelf on the ground floor. Luckily, very little water entered the residence and he was able to manage the situation without much trouble. But the trauma still haunts him. “Every night I take a torch and walk down to the ground floor to check. Rain would earlier evoke a great feel; now it disturbs me. I don’t know how I can get over this,” says the medical representative.

A sense of fear has enveloped many in the city after the record rain. Counselling psychologist and psychotherapist Latha Janaki said the chances of this happening are high, particularly among senior citizens.

“This is mainly because of fear and anxiety due to the month-long rain and subsequent flood. We need to identify what element is present in them and address it,” she says.

The city had experienced flooding many times but this is the worst, she says. “So people are in a state of shock. No one can stop a natural calamity, but we can create a positive sense among the affected people that there will be some swift precautionary measure in case if it happens again. This will provide a sense of relief to them. Proper counselling is needed in such cases,” she adds.

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Source: TOI-Che