Five persons lost their lives in Chennai on Monday as torrential rains and the impending Cyclone ‘Michaung’ wreaked havoc in southern India. The cyclone is anticipated to land on Andhra Pradesh’s coast within the next 24 hours, prompting widespread closures, evacuations, and a halt in transportation services.
As the severe cyclonic storm battered parts of Andhra Pradesh, the state government issued alerts for eight districts, including Tirupati, Nellore, Prakasam, Bapatla, Krishna, West Godavari, Konaseema, and Kakinada. The cyclone is expected to hit near Bapatla on Tuesday noon, bringing with it winds of up to 100 kmph.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin called for unity in the face of the calamity, urging all political parties and volunteers to collaborate with the government in recovery efforts. In a social media post, he stated, “I request all political parties and volunteers to join hands with the government to recover from this #CycloneMichuang calamity which is pouring unprecedented rains. Let’s face this challenging calamity together and help.”
Amid the chaos, flight operations at Chennai Airport have been suspended until 9 AM tomorrow, adding to the woes of stranded travellers. The evacuation process is underway across the eight affected districts, with 181 relief camps providing shelter. The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) reported the deployment of five National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams and an equal number of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams in the affected areas.
During a review meeting, Chief Minister Stalin directed officials to engage various resources, including ward and village secretariats, village clinics, and Rythu Bharosa Kendras, to expedite relief work. Emphasizing the focus on evacuees’ medical, food, and drinking water needs, he highlighted the importance of collective efforts in mitigating the impact of the cyclone.
In response to rising water levels, express train services have been suspended, affecting 86 fully cancelled services, including prominent routes such as Chennai Central-Coimbatore Vande Bharat Express and Chennai Central-KSR Bengaluru Shatabdi Express. Additionally, Chennai suburban rail traffic across all sections has been temporarily suspended, with passenger specials deployed to assist stranded passengers.