Cyclone Michaung, which is raging over the Bay of Bengal, has grown into a severe cyclonic storm and is expected to make landfall near Bapatla in coastal Andhra Pradesh within a few hours.
Here are 10 points in this developing story:
Speaking to NDTV, Indian Meteorological Department Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said wind speeds as of 9 pm on Monday were 90-100 km per hour near the center of the cyclone and 70-80 km per hour along Nellore districts and Prakasam. in Andhra Pradesh.
“The system is moving towards the north, therefore, the wind speeds near Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts of Tamil Nadu will gradually decrease and will be around 50-60 km per hour. They will further decrease near the coast of Tamil Nadu. This will gradually increasing (in Andhra Pradesh) and from midnight, wind speed may reach 90-100 km per hour between Nellore and Machilipathnam and will continue till Tuesday afternoon (morning),” he said.
A severe cyclonic storm has the potential to cause uprooting of small and medium-sized trees, widespread damage to huts and mud houses, and partial damage to telephone and electricity poles. It will also cause floods and floods, as has already happened in the north coast of Tamil Nadu, especially in Chennai. Mr Mohapatra warned that cities and towns along the Andhra Pradesh coast will experience extremely heavy and even exceptionally heavy (30-40 cm) rainfall.
A storm surge, or tidal wave, of 1 to 1.5 meters in height is expected to inundate low-lying areas of south coastal Andhra Pradesh and the peak of the storm surge will be over 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, with gusts up to 110 km per hour.
Five rain-related deaths occurred in Chennai on Monday. Two people died of electrocution while one was killed after a tree fell on him in the city's posh Besant Nagar area, the Chennai police said, according to news agency PTI. Two unidentified bodies of a man and a woman have been found in different rain-affected parts of the city.
However, there is hope for Chennai and the Greater Chennai region – which has been experiencing floods and widespread power outages – with the situation expected to improve after 12 noon on Tuesday. “We do not expect any extremely heavy rainfall after midnight and only heavy rainfall and isolated very heavy rainfall can be expected. Rain intensity and wind speed will decrease as the cyclone moves away from Chennai. Wind speed will decrease from 50-60 km per hour to 35-45 km per hour,” Mohapatra said.
The Chennai airport will remain closed till 9 am on Tuesday and the state government has also declared a public holiday for Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur districts. The government has appealed to private companies to allow employees to work from home as much as possible.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday spoke to the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry and assured them of all necessary assistance from the Centre. The minister said sufficient National Disaster Response Force personnel have already been deployed and additional teams are ready for further assistance.
Andhra Pradesh's Krishna District Collector Raja Babu said Cyclone Michaung will hit the district after midnight and reach Machilipatnam before 4 am. All necessary arrangements have been made, the collector said. Bapatla Superintendent of Police Vakul Jindal said, “All police stations in Bapatla have been alerted. NDRF and SDRF teams are present to carry out rescue measures. Steps are being taken to shift everyone in low-lying areas to cyclone shelters. ”
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 on Tuesday.