UPDATE: 5:56 a.m. EST -- India’s Press Information Bureau released a statement Friday evening saying that editing a photo of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surveying flood-hit Chennai was an “error of judgment.” The PIB added that the photo was later deleted.
An edited photo of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surveying the devastating floods in the southern city of Chennai, which was released by the country's media relations bureau, has become the target of much online mockery and ire.
The photo, which has since been taken offline by the Press Information Bureau (PIB), showed Modi surveying flood-hit Chennai from the air. The PIB reportedly superimposed a photo of the floods onto the plane's window to replace the original that only showed a blurry, unclear view of the damage below.
— NDTV (@ndtv) December 3, 2015
Modi was conducting an aerial survey of the damage to the region, following days of incessant rains, which have killed at least 269 people and rendered thousands homeless, the Indian Express newspaper reported Thursday.
The PIB did not issue a statement over the mistake but admitted the error to the Press Trust of India news agency. However, PIB’s slip-up sent Twitter into a frenzy.
Modi ji in chennai Photoshop pic.twitter.com/sI2ag37mgU
— Barkha Shukla Singh (@BarkhaShukla45) December 3, 2015
EPIC Failure photoshop of narendra modi checking out chennai.. by PIB_India id. pic.twitter.com/j5FAvM8FjY
— Abhishek S N (@snabhi) December 3, 2015
— Hari Prasad (@HariPrasad91) December 3, 2015
Meanwhile, floodwaters began receding in Chennai after the rains stopped Thursday, according to local media reports.
O.P. Singh, director general of the National Disaster Response Force, said that the situation in the coastal city had improved overnight, the Times of India newspaper reported. The NDRF, which has so far rescued over 9,000 people stranded by the rains, is expected to step up its efforts Friday as the region becomes more accessible.
However, according to local reports, waterlogging continues to affect road and air traffic though train services were partially restored in the city, the Hindu newspaper reported.
During his Chennai visit, Modi surveyed the flood-affected areas of Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts in Tamil Nadu, and announced a relief fund of $141 million.