Cyclone Michaung has thrown life out of gear in India’s Tamil Nadu state, as relentless rains led to flooding.
The cyclone is expected to make landfall on the coast of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday morning, the country’s weather office said, with sustained winds of 90-100 kph (56-62 mph), gusting to 110 kph.
In Tamil Nadu’s capital Chennai, the state’s largest city and a major electronics and manufacturing hub, cars were swept away as floodwater flowed through the streets, while its airport, one of the busiest in India, shut down operations for the day citing severe weather. Several parts of Chennai remain submerged in floodwater and the city is facing severe traffic jams. Several flights have been cancelled as rainwater flooded the airport runway. As a part of precautionary measure, the Indian Railways has cancelled 60 trains.
Nearly 5,000 relief centres have been set up in coastal districts. Chief Minister MK Stalin reviewed the safety measures and is closely monitoring the situation.
The coastal areas have has been witnessing heavy rain and strong wind since Monday morning. Heavy rain and strong winds will pounded Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengalpattu districts until Monday night.
Several areas in the city faced power outages and internet disruption.
Schools, colleges, and government offices in Chennai and three adjoining districts remain closed.
The Tamil Nadu forest department issued an advisory after a ‘mugger crocodile’ was spotted on a Chennai road amid heavy rain. The crocodile was spotted on Perungalathur-Nedungundram road Sunday night. In the video, the reptile was seen crossing the road and entering bushes along the side of the road even as commuters passed by. Environment Secretary Supriya Sahu said the reptile emerged from an overflowing waterbody and there was no likelihood of harm to humans as long as these creatures were left alone and unprovoked.
Social media videos showed cars being swept away by the strong currents.
Authorities have issued helpline numbers that people in distress can use. They have stationed eight NDRF and nine SDRF teams in the affected districts of Villupuram, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Thiruvallur, Cuddalore, and Chengalpattu.
Chennai Corporation Main – 1913
Sewage Overflow – 044 45674567
State Emergency – 1070
District Emergency – 1077
Police – 100
Police SMS – 9500099100
(Picture Courtesy: Reuters)