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Michaung makes landfall, claims 12 lives, and leaves trail of deluge and disruption

After being pounded by rains the whole of Monday, Chennai witnessed some respite on Tuesday even as the city struggled to cope with large scale water logging, power cuts and disruption in mobile services.
Last Updated : 05 December 2023, 16:55 IST
Last Updated : 05 December 2023, 16:55 IST

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Chennai/Amaravati/Bhubaneswar/Hyderabad: Severe cyclonic storm Michaung made landfall crossing south Andhra Pradesh coast between 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm on Tuesday leaving its maximum fury to be felt on Monday in Chennai and adjoining areas in neighbouring Tamil Nadu. Southern districts of Odisha and eastern Telangana continue to be on alert.

At least 12 people lost their lives in various rain-related incidents in and around Chennai even as personnel on fishing boats and farm tractors were engaged in rescuing stranded people in the city on Tuesday. The city and adjoining districts faced relentless rains on Monday as Michaung loomed over the north coastal areas of Tamil Nadu.

Odisha's southern districts too received rains on Tuesday in the wake of severe cyclone Michaung. Authorities have deployed five teams of ODRAF (Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force) and eight teams from the fire service department for rescue operations in the five southern districts - Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapati and Ganjam - the state's Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Satyabrata Sahu said.

Michaung crossed near coastal south Andhra Pradesh's Bapatla district with maximum gales of up to 90 to100 km per hour, an Amaravati Meteorological Centre official said, adding that the weather system was to move northwards and weaken into a cyclonic storm in the two hours after landfall.

The landfall phenomenon lasted around three hours.

After being pounded by rains the whole of Monday, Chennai witnessed some respite on Tuesday even as the city struggled to cope with large scale water logging, power cuts and disruption in mobile services.

Apart from the 12 persons who had lost their lives, eleven others, who sustained injuries in rain-related incidents, were receiving treatment in various hospitals, officials said.

Several District Disaster Response Teams (DDRT) were formed to carry out relief work in all rain-affected areas across Chennai. The Air Force Station, Tambaram and the Navy joined the rescue and rehabilitation works.

Two helicopters were pressed in for service in rain affected areas while Navy's divers, swimmers and inflatable boats ventured into the operation.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin said on Tuesday morning that across the nine affected districts, including Chennai, a total of 61,666 relief camps were established. Approximately 11 lakh food packets and one lakh milk packets have been distributed so far, he said.

The Chennai Corporation has brought in 5000 workers from other districts for flood mitigation works in the city. These workers utilised farm tractors and fishing boats in flooded areas for rescue operations and distributing relief materials.

Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena said on Tuesday evening that 80 per cent of power supply and 70 per cent of mobile networks have already been restored.

Das told reporters that there were 42,747 cell phone towers in Chennai of which 70 per cent were currently operational. The rest of the 30 per cent was not operational due to lack of power, he said.

Schools and colleges will remain closed in and around Chennai on Wednesday, he added.

Air services that were suspended to and from Chennai airport on Monday, partially resumed on Tuesday with domestic and international flights landing and taking off albeit with delays reported on some sectors.

A Southern Railway press release stated that they were trying to resume all train services to and from Chennai by Wednesday. The services from and to Chennai were completely shut down on Monday.

Before its landfall, at many places in the coastal districts of southern Andhra Pradesh, Michaung left a trail of inundation, eroded roads, overflowing canals, swollen streams and ponds, including submerging thousands of acres of fields of crops in the agrarian state.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy held a review meeting to take stock of the severe cyclonic storm on Tuesday and assessed its impact and relief measures. The CM instructed officials to efficiently distribute food rations deploying the ward and village volunteer system. He sanctioned Rs 22 crore for immediate relief efforts.

The state government set up helplines in the affected districts: Bapatla (8712655881), Guntur (0863 2234014), Krishna (08672 25272), NTR (0866 2575833), Chittoor (9491077356), Kadapa (08672 23272), Visakhapatnam (0891 2590100) and Tirupati (0877 2236007), among others.

Departmental helplines include Police (100, 112) and Fisheries (9390125477). In Anakapalli district, 52 rehabilitation centres have been set up and arrangements made to accommodate more than 60,000 people.

A holiday has been declared for schools in Eluru district.

In the wake of the severe cyclonic storm, several paddy fields were inundated at Sarvepalli in Nellore district. Special officer Hari Kiran went to observe Sarvepalli Reservoir. He also surveyed some affected places in Nellore town.

Meanwhile, Telangana government directed the Collectors of districts where heavy rain is forecast due to Michaung to be on alert and said NDRF teams were being sent to two districts.

Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari held a tele-conference with the Collectors of Bhadradri-Kothagudem, Khammam, Mulugu, Hanmakonda, Warangal, Jangaon, Mahbubabad and Suryapet districts in the wake of the Meteorological Department's warning that there is a possibility of moderate to heavy rains in North and South Telangana districts due to the impact of the severe cyclonic storm Michaung.

The Chief Secretary instructed them to be on alert as there is a possibility of heavy rains in various parts of the state on December 5 and 6, an official release said.

Appropriate measures should be taken in accordance with the protocols to be followed in case of heavy rains and floods, she said, adding that National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are being sent to Bhadradri-Kothagudem and Mulugu districts.

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Published 05 December 2023, 16:55 IST

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