In the past hours, a relentless weather system has wreaked havoc across Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu, deluging the region with heavy bouts of rain. The looming threat is Cyclone Michaung, pronounced migjaum, intensifying over the Bay of Bengal and expected to make landfall between Nellore and Machilipatnam, close to Bapatla in Andhra Pradesh, on Tuesday at 11 am. Chennai, caught in the clutches of Cyclone Michaung, witnessed unprecedented chaos. Roads transformed into rivers, vehicles swept away, and educational institutions forced to close. Private offices shifted to remote work as the city grappled with intense rainfall and formidable winds. The aftermath revealed the tragic toll with eight lives lost in rain-related incidents.
Floodwaters invaded government hospitals, temporarily suspending healthcare services. Metro stations faced waterlogging, and viral videos depicted a mugger crocodile navigating submerged roads. The relentless downpour caused power outages and internet disruptions, amplifying the challenges faced by residents. Cyclone Michaung dealt a severe blow to transportation services, leading to numerous cancellations of trains and flights. Chaos unfolded at the flooded Chennai airport runway, leaving passengers stranded until 9 am on Tuesday. The impact on daily life was palpable, causing inconvenience and disruptions in the face of the approaching cyclone.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) closely monitors Cyclone Michaung’s trajectory. The latest communication places the severe cyclonic storm north-northeast of Nellore, moving parallel to the south Andhra Pradesh coast. The anticipated landfall is between Nellore and Machilipatnam, close to Bapatla, on Tuesday forenoon.
Top Developments Amidst the Deluge:
Tamil Nadu Braces for Impact: The Tamil Nadu government declared a public holiday in Chennai, Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur, and Chengalpattu districts. Despite a slight decrease in rainfall intensity by night, Perungudi in Chennai recorded 29 cm, Avadi in Tiruvallur district recorded 28 cm, and Mamallapuram in Chengalpet received 22 cm in the past 24 hours.
IMD’s Cautionary Note: The IMD issued a warning of light thunderstorms, lightning, and moderate rain for several Tamil Nadu districts, including Chennai, Tiruvallur, Chengalpattu, and Kancheepuram, among others, for the next three hours.
Stalin’s Assurance: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin assured the public of war-footing relief measures. Various departments, including police, fire, and rescue, deployed personnel for immediate relief in rain-affected areas.
Electricity Restoration: Nearly 8,590 electricity board personnel, supervised by Electricity Minister Thangam Thennarasu, engaged in electricity restoration works in rain-affected districts. Relief efforts included the deployment of 350 boats for rescue operations and 4,320 doctors to manage rain-related diseases.
Relief Camps and Support: Tamil Nadu set up 236 relief camps, providing essential amenities to 9,634 people. Chief Minister Stalin actively inquired about damages, ongoing relief operations, and the state’s preparedness during a phone call to key ministers.
Andhra Pradesh Under Threat: Incessant rainfall battered Andhra Pradesh, prompting the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) to temporarily deny permission for devotees to bathe in the Sri Kapilathirtham waterfalls.
Railway Preparedness: The Railway Ministry established an emergency control cell in Chennai and a war room in New Delhi. Focus remains on disaster management to prevent loss of life and minimize damage to Railway assets.
Central Support: Union Home Minister Amit Shah assured support to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Puducherry, with the deployment of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel and additional teams.
District-Level Initiatives: Raja Babu, District Collector of Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district, implemented preventive measures. Fifty-seven relief camps in seven coastal mandals were set up, stocked with food, medicines, and accommodation.
Chennai Airport Chaos: The Chennai airport closed operations until 9 am on Tuesday due to adverse weather conditions. Severe waterlogging in subways led to closures, and traffic movement suspension added to the city’s woes.
Leadership Engagement: Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, offering support in dealing with Cyclone Michaung’s aftermath.
Odisha’s Precaution: Odisha’s Gajapati district declared the closure of primary, upper primary, high school, and anganwadi centers on December 6 in anticipation of heavy rainfall.
As the impact of Cyclone Michaung unfolds, collective efforts and vigilance are paramount. Stay tuned for further updates on this unfolding weather crisis.