Cyclone Michaung: Amidst the looming threat of Cyclone Michaung, the Andhra Pradesh government has issued a high alert for eight districts, namely Tirupati, Nellore, Prakasam, Bapatla, Krishna, West Godavari, Konaseema, and Kakinada.
The cyclone, currently churning over the Bay of Bengal, is expected to make landfall near Bapatla on the Andhra Pradesh coast, following its havoc-wreaking rainfall in Chennai. The recent downpour in Chennai has tragically claimed the lives of at least five individuals due to rain-related incidents.
Chennai Airport has resumed operations after being temporarily shut down due to heavy rains that caused flooding and waterlogging on the runways, said an airport official. The airport will be open for both arrivals and departures from 0900 hours IST onwards. According to a statement released by the airport authorities, the rains have stopped, and the water has receded. However, there is a lot of slush and filth on the runways and taxiways, which is being cleared by four Civilian Firearms Teams (CFTs) and additional manpower.
Key updates on cyclone Michaung:
- The impending cyclone brings the anticipation of a storm surge reaching 1-1.5 meters, potentially inundating low-lying regions of south coastal Andhra Pradesh. The peak storm surge is projected over the Bapatla and Krishna districts. Forecasters estimate the cyclone to make landfall as a severe cyclonic storm, carrying sustained wind speeds of 90-100 km per hour, gusting up to 110 km per hour.
- In response to the impending crisis, the Andhra Pradesh government has activated alerts across the mentioned eight districts, urging preparedness and caution. Additionally, Section 144 has been imposed in coastal areas of Puducherry, restricting movement until 6 pm.
- Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has urged officials to confront the cyclone as a significant challenge, emphasising the potential risks to life and property. Special officers have been appointed for affected districts, with an allocation of Rs 2 crore each for rescue and relief efforts. Evacuation protocols have been initiated for residents in low-lying areas, with over 300 relief camps established to accommodate them.
- Union Home Minister Amit Shah has assured support from the Centre, having spoken to the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Puducherry. Adequate deployment of National Disaster Response Force personnel has been undertaken, with additional teams on standby for further assistance.
- Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director General of the India Meteorological Department, has issued warnings of extremely heavy rainfall (30-40 cm) in cities and towns along coastal Andhra Pradesh.
- The potential impacts of a severe cyclonic storm encompass uprooting of trees, substantial damage to structures like huts and mud houses, and partial impairment to telephone and electric poles.
- While rain has ceased in Chennai, many parts of the city remain submerged, particularly in low-lying areas. The forecast predicts light to moderate rainfall in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry today. Chennai airport's closure has been extended till 9 am, with schools, colleges, and government offices shut. The government has urged private companies to facilitate remote work for employees.
- In anticipation of the cyclone's effects, the Odisha government has deployed rescue teams in southern districts. Coastal and southern district collectors are on high alert, cautioning fishermen against venturing into the sea due to rough conditions.