Chennai is reeling under the devastating impact of Cyclone Michaung, which made landfall in Andhra Pradesh on December 5.
Michaung’s intensity, with high-speed winds and torrential rain has left several parts of Chennai waterlogged to knee-deep height, about 30 hours after the rain stopped.
According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), Cyclone Michaung has now weakened into a deep depression over central coastal Andhra Pradesh.
In a post on X, the IMD said ‘Cyclonic storm ‘MICHAUNG’ weakened into a deep depression over central coastal AP. About 100 km north-northwest of Bapatla and 50 km southeast of Khammam. To weaken further into a depression in next 06 hours and further into a WML (well marked low pressure) during subsequent 06 hours.’
With drinking water and milk in short supply along with shortages of diesel, Chennai’s citizens are in a growing desperation situation.
Protests are taking place in the city streets after parts of Chennai went without electricity for three days.
Assessing the impact, the Tamil Nadu government under Chief Minister M K Stalin has sought INR 5,060 crore from Prime Minister Narendra Modi as interim relief.
A survey is underway to assess the total damage and a detailed report will be prepared soon, an official statement said.
In a letter to the Centre, Stalin has listed out the damages caused by ‘unprecedented rains triggered by Cyclone Michaung in the northern districts of Chennai, Chengalpet, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram.
‘Especially, the damage is severe in areas under the Corporation of Chennai. Infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and public buildings have suffered severe damage,’ the statement said.
The CM has also requested the Centre to dispatch a team to assess the damage.
Cyclone Michaung made landfall in Andhra Pradesh between Nellore and Kavali on Tuesday, incessant rains lashed Tamil Nadu’s Chennai taking the death toll in rain-related incidents to 17.
The cyclone then weakened into a deep depression over central coastal Andhra Pradesh, leaving a trail of stagnant water and power disruption in parts of Chennai and its suburbs.
Another day’s holiday was declared for schools and colleges in Chennai on December 7, as disaster relief personnel were involved in relief and rehabilitation efforts.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones.
Taking to X, Modi said: ‘My thoughts are with the families of those who have lost their loved ones due to Cyclone Michaung, especially in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry. My prayers are with those injured or affected in the wake of this cyclone. Authorities have been working tirelessly on the ground to assist those affected and will continue their work till the situation fully normalises.’
In anticipation of the storm, a red alert had been issued in eight areas, Tirupati, Nellore, Prakasam, Bapatla, Krishna, West Godavari, Konaseema and Kakinada.
According to preliminary weather experts, Cyclone Michaung was expected to make landfall in Andhra Pradesh on the Bapatla coast. The severe cyclonic storm originated in the west-central Bay of Bengal along and off the South Andhra Pradesh coast before moving northwards with a speed of 10 kmph in the last six hours, the IMD had said.
‘Michaung’ lay centered at 1330 hours IST of 5th December over Andhra Pradesh coast, close to south of Bapatla and is now crossing the coast with windspeed of 90-100 kmph gusting to 110 kmph, with the the landfall process to be completed during next 2 hours, the weather agency added.
Weather experts predicted that harsh weather conditions in the state and nearby cities would prevail till Thursday.
Special focus is being laid on safeguarding local crops in the area.
Nearly 1,000 people living across the coast of Andhra Pradesh have been evacuated before Cyclone Michaung makes landfall in Andhra Pradesh.
A team of NDRF officers have arrived at the Bapatla beach to secure the area and ensure all necessary safety protocols.
Heavy rain lashed Chennai through the night on Monday as Michaung moved closer to the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh coasts. ‘Michaung’ has turned into a severe cyclonic storm, the India India Meteorological Department said on Monday.
Five people died as severe waterlogging and rain-related incidents were reported across the city.
Several flights were cancelled and others diverted and operations have been suspended till 11 pm on Monday owing to severe weather conditions.
The Tamil Nadu government declared a public holiday on Monday and Tuesday in Chennai, Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur, and Chengalpattu districts.
‘Work from home’ is in order for private firms in the wake of the storms, with only essential services plying.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 21 teams in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry and eight additional teams have been kept in reserve.
According to a PTI report, smartphone vendors Foxconn and Pegatron, who have manufacturing facilities in the region as well as automobile company Hyundai are among the companies that have suspended their operations due to the cyclonic conditions.
IMD had earlier issued ‘orange alert’ in TN, AP
Amid a depression formed over the Bay of Bengal on Friday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an ‘orange’ alert for the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, for Sunday and Monday..
The weather department said that the depression would further intensify into ‘deep depression’ on Saturday and is likely to become a cyclonic storm.
In Odisha, an isolated heavy rainfall was reported likely over the south coastal and adjoining south interior region of the state on December 4 and 5.
The Chennai regional meteorological center’s forecast for Saturday had predicted light to moderate rain at many places with thunderstorm and lightning at one or two places across Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal area.
Additionally, heavy rain was expected at isolated spots in Pudukkottai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai, and Cuddalore districts of Tamil Nadu and Karaikal area.
The weather department also suggested the likelihood of ‘extremely heavy rain at one or two places over Tiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu’ on Monday.
Earlier, the Chennai meteorological center’s prediction for Friday indicated potential waterlogging in certain areas. The meteorological center warned of possible traffic disruptions in these zones.
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