Chennai: Cyclone Michaung, currently swirling over the Bay of Bengal and heading towards the Andhra coast, has unleashed torrential rain upon Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Heavy rainfall was reported in north coastal Tamil Nadu, encompassing Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Nagapattinam, and Cuddalore districts, with Thiruvallur district bearing the brunt of the downpour.
Most parts of Chennai are submerged in water, with heavy inundation in low-lying areas. The cyclone is expected to make landfall between Nellore and Machilipatnam tomorrow noon.
Chennai city and its neighboring districts received heavy rainfall overnight, with Meenambakkam recording 196 mm and Nungambakkam receiving 154.3 mm in the 24 hours leading up to 5:30 am this morning.
As a result, schools, colleges, and government offices in Chennai and three adjoining districts will remain closed today, and the state government has urged private companies to allow their employees to work from home.
Authorities have set up nearly 5,000 relief centres in coastal districts to assist those affected by the heavy rain that lashed the city and its neighboring districts overnight. Chief Minister MK Stalin reviewed the safety measures last night and is closely monitoring the situation.
“The state machine is ready to face Cyclone Michaung. Ministers and officials are in the field. The public must adhere to the safety protocols provided. I also request that the public should not come out without essential needs until the impact of the storm subsides,” Chief Minister Stalin posted on X.
Due to the heavy rains, bridge No.14 between Basin Bridge and Vyasarpadi has been temporarily shut down as a precautionary measure to ensure public safety.
This closure has resulted in the cancellation of six trains departing from Dr MGR Chennai Central railway station, including those bound for Coimbatore and Mysuru. The Southern Railway has announced that all passengers affected by the train cancellations will receive full refunds.
Additionally, 14 subways have been closed after severe waterlogging. The city’s airport was also not spared, with 12 domestic outbound flights and four international flights being canceled. Three incoming international flights were diverted to Bengaluru due to the weather conditions.
To aid in relief and rescue efforts, authorities have stationed eight NDRF and nine SDRF teams in the affected districts of Villupuram, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Thiruvallur, Cuddalore, and Chengalpattu.
The water discharge from the Chembarambakkam reservoir outside Chennai has been reduced to 1500 cusecs to mitigate the risk of flooding in low-lying areas