Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Cyclonic storm ‘Michaung’ hits Chennai coast

Several areas in Chennai reported massive waterlogging, power and internet disruption as heavy rains lashed the city on Monday morning. 

The cyclonic storm ‘Michaung’ is said to be caused by the deep depression over the Bay of Bengal on Sunday.

Indian Meteorological Department said that cyclone Michaung now lies at 110km east-northeast of Chennai. “It has moved at 10kmph in the last six hours. It is expected to move in the west-northwest direction and intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by afternoon.

Power supply has been suspended for most part of the city as a precautionary measure as requested by fire and rescue officials as well as local councillors.

“Many places recorded heavy to very heavy rainfall and one or two places recorded extremely heavy rainfall in the last 24 hours. Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Chengelpet may continue to receive heavy rainfall and strong winds till tonight,” said S Balachandran, Deputy Director of IMD.

All arrivals were suspended at Chennai airport till 11.30am. Many flights have also been cancelled or delayed at the airport due to rains. Further updates are yet to be provided by the airport authority. 

Also, suburban train services in all sections have been temporarily suspended.

A wind speed of 82kmph was recorded in Meenambakkam observatory, and 25cm rainfall recorded at the weather station till 8.30am.

Heavy waterlogging has been reported in areas including Kovilambakkam, Puzhuthivakkam MRT railway station, T Nagar bus stand and  Kilpauk Medical College. 

Diabetes OP block of the Medical College hospital in Kilpauk has been flooded and  has been shifted to the first floor, said KMC dean Dr Muthuselvan.

Several bridges and roads have been closed due to water stagnation. Hundreds of cars and trucks are stuck at 2-km long traffic jam near Pethikuppam on Chennai-Kolkata highway.

So far, around 700 people have been accommodated in 39 flood relief camps in the areas under Tambaram Corporation.

“We will provide safety precautions and guidelines during the cyclone time to the public via SMS. We have sent SMS to 2.5 crore people,” The state revenue and Disaster Management minister KKSSR Ramachandran said.

The cyclone is likely to cross the South Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Machilipatnam during the forenoon of December 5 as a severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 90-100 kmph gusting to 110 kmph, IMD officials said.

A sudden breach in Narayanapuram lake has caused floods in adjacent localities.

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