24 February 2024
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Because of its potential effect and destructive nature, the deep depression over the South Bay of Bengal—which has strengthened into cyclonic storm Michaung—is being closely watched.

Five people have died as a result of the storm in various events in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, the police reported on Monday.

The state has seen several trees uprooted as a result of the severe winds. People’s life have been impacted as they struggle with problems like waterlogging and other problems in various parts of the southern state.

According to authorities, one individual has been hurt as a result of the tree collapsing.

Given the cyclonic storm, the Chennai airfield will remain closed until 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

“Airfield closed for arrival and departure operations till 0900 hrs IST tomorrow due to adverse weather conditions”, said the Chennai airport authority in a post on ‘X’.

Subways have been closed due to the severe waterlogging in Chennai. Also, traffic has been closed from Manjambakkam to Vadaperumbakkam Road due to the release of water from Puzhal Lake, said the police.

“DDRT Teams are available in all vulnerable areas and they are working in coordination with the GCC and Highways Department,” police added.

About 90 km east-northeast of Chennai, cyclonic storm “Michaung” strengthened into a severe cyclonic storm about 8:30 a.m. today.

The north coastal regions of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are expected to see heavy to extremely heavy rainfall on December 4 and 5, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). On December 4 and 5, it is predicted to rain light to moderately in most areas and heavy to very heavy in a few, with really heavy falls at isolated places over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam.

Chennai’s public life is significantly impacted by the heavy rains that are hammering many areas of the city. The continuous severe rainfall left several locations flooded, including Wallajah Road, Mount Road, Anna Salai, Chepauk, outside Omandurar government multispecialty hospital, and other low-lying regions.

Heavy rainfall caused Chennai’s well-known Marina Beach to flood, and severe waterlogging shut the roads leading from Mount Road to Marina Beach.

In light of the storm, the Tamil Nadu government has announced Tuesday to be a public holiday in the districts of Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, and Tiruvallur.

Due to the severe weather in the state, all schools, colleges, educational institutions, and government offices—including those of public undertakings and corporations, boards, banks, and financial institutions—will be closed in the four districts of Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, and Chengalpattu.

Nonetheless, all necessary services including law enforcement, fire protection, municipal organisations, milk and water supply, medical facilities, electricity supply, transportation, petrol stations, lodging and dining establishments, etc., as well as the offices handling disaster response and relief and rescue activities, shall function as usual.

The Indian Meteorological Department has issued a red alert for the state of Tamil Nadu, and the government of that state has encouraged residents to take precautions. Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall is expected in Chennai and the surrounding areas, according to the IMD.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the cyclone is expected to strengthen more in the meantime and make landfall between Nellore and Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh by tomorrow morning.

In the midst of the dire circumstances, Union Home Minister Amit Shah called with the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Puducherry earlier today on Cyclone “Michaung” and promised them all-out help from the central government.

During distinct phone calls with Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, MK Stalin, and N. Rangasamy, the Home Minister assessed the state of affairs in these regions regarding rescue and relief efforts, along with other measures to guarantee that casualties are kept to a minimum and damage is reduced.

Amit Shah also discussed the intense rains in Chennai with the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, where the Indian Army is rescuing individuals from Mugalivakkam and Manapakkam, which are affected by the rainfall and massive waterlogging.

Due to the impact of the heavy rains on Tuesday, December 5, the Tamil Nadu government had earlier asked private businesses and enterprises in the four districts of Chennai, Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram, and Chengalpattu to permit their employees to work from home as much as possible.

During Sunday’s National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) meeting, the Cabinet Secretary underlined that, given the most recent IMD forecast, the concerned states need to take all required precautions.

Eight more teams were held in reserve, according to the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), which said that its 21 teams were currently stationed in Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. The Coast Guard, Army, and Navy rescue and relief teams, as well as ships and planes, are also kept on standby.

In the meantime, Indian Railways has significantly increased the capacity of all of its equipment to guarantee and oversee safe and orderly railway operations in the regions that are anticipated to be impacted by Cyclone ‘Michaung’.

The committee was also informed about the precautionary steps being taken by the chief secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and Puducherry, as well as the special chief secretary of revenue and disaster management, Andhra Pradesh.

The Indian Railways has established an emergency control cell at the Divisional/HQ level with officers from Operating, Commercial, Engineering, Electrical, Signal/Telecommunications, Security, and other branches in each shift as part of their preparation for cyclone-related disaster management. Their role is to monitor train operations around-the-clock and take appropriate action when needed.

Prior to Cyclone Michaung’s impact, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) cancelled up to 60 trains within its authority.
To keep an eye on Cyclone Michaung, ECoR has established a Crisis Management Cell.

According to sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy earlier and assessed the state of preparations for battling Cyclone Michaung. The former assured the latter of his full support in handling the cyclone’s aftermath.

(With agency inputs)

Abdul Gh Lone

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