Cyclone Michaung Warning: The Andhra Pradesh government has issued an alert for eight districts – Tirupati, Nellore, Prakasam, Bapatla, Krishna, West Godavari, Konaseema and Kakinada
New Delhi/Chennai: Cyclone Michaung, which is swirling over the Bay of Bengal, is set to make landfall near Bapatla on the Andhra Pradesh coast, after causing rain mayhem in Tamil Nadu. So far, at least eight people have died in rain-related incidents in Chennai.
A storm surge, or tidal wave, of 1-1.5 metres is expected to inundate the low-lying areas of south coastal Andhra Pradesh and the peak storm surge will be over the Bapatla and Krishna districts. The cyclone is expected to make landfall as a severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 90-100 km per hour, gusting to 110 km per hour.
The Andhra Pradesh government has issued an alert for eight districts – Tirupati, Nellore, Prakasam, Bapatla, Krishna, West Godavari, Konaseema and Kakinada. In Puducherry, Section 144 has been imposed in the coastal areas, restricting movement there, until 6 pm.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has directed the officials to treat the storm as a major challenge to avoid loss of life and property as the winds are expected to blow gales reaching speeds of up to 110 kilometres per hour.
Mr Reddy said that special officers have been appointed for all cyclone-affected districts, besides releasing ₹ 2 crore each for rescue and relief work. People from low-lying areas have been evacuated and over 300 relief camps have been set up to accommodate them.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry on Monday and assured them of all necessary help from the Centre. The minister said adequate deployment of National Disaster Response Force personnel has already been made and additional teams are ready for further assistance.
The Director General of the India Meteorological Department, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra warned that cities and towns along coastal Andhra Pradesh will see extremely heavy, and even exceptionally heavy (30-40 cm), rainfall.
A severe cyclonic storm has the potential to cause uprooting of small and medium trees, large-scale damage to hutments and mud houses, and partial damage to telephone and electric poles.
Rain has stopped in Chennai, but most parts of the city remains submerged, with heavy inundation in low-lying areas. The weather office said that Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are expected to experience light to moderate rainfall in most places today.
Chennai airport resumed operations this morning after planes were grounded yesterday as rainwater entered the runway. The airport would give priority to departures to clear the stranded passengers at the airport, officials said.
The Odisha government has also deployed rescue teams in the southern districts as a precautionary measure. All the coastal and southern district collectors have been out on alert and fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea as sea conditions remain tough.