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Monday, June 24, 2024

Cyclone Michaung effect : Flooded Chennai battered, bruised, life starts limping to normal

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Chennai: The Chennai city and its surbubs were battered and bruised under the impact of the Cyclone Michaung fury as heavy non-stop rains that lasted more than 24 hrs and
accompanied by gusty winds, wrecked normal life, flooded this teeming megapolis when it touched the North Tamil Nadu Coast before moving towards the Andhra Pradesh coast.

As it entered the south Andhra Pradesh coast, it will make a landfall between Nellore and Machilipatnam, close to Bapatla today forenoon as a severe Cyclonic storm with the wind speeding touching 110 kmph.

Apart from the city and suburbs, the heavy rains also hit left its impact in several districts of the state, including the neighbouring Tiruvalur, Chengalpattu and Kancheepuram districts.

Even before the intensified weather system came close to the North Tamil Nadu coast,
there were intermittent rains in the city and suburbs that started around Saturday noon.

Despite intermittent showers, with heavy spells at times, it gained in intensity on Sunday
afternoon. Thereafter there was no stopping as rains pounded in torrent throwing normal
life out of gear.

Met office sources said several parts of the city received rainfall in excess of 20-25 cms,
as it poured beyond expectations, resulting in unprecedented inundation in several areas.
People remained indoors as the Tamil Nadu government has declared a public holiday yesterday in view of the cyclonic storm.

Officials said since the weather system started moving slowly on Sunday evening, there
has been formation of thick cloud density that resulted in heavy rains, which was more than expected.

It was water,water everywhere, as the entire City and the outskirts were floating under the rain fury.

Public transport came to a virtual halt on Monday, suburban EMU trains were suspended for a few hours due to waterlogging on railway tracks and the Southern Railway cancelled several express trains because of the cyclone fury.

The rains, which became heavier on Sunday evening, continued non-stop and poured
the entire day on Monday, inundating several areas of the city and suburbs as a majority
of the subways in the city were shut due to water stagnation.

After leaving a trail of havoc, during which felling of trees were reported in several parts
of the city, the rains subsided hours after it moved towards the South Andhra Pradesh
coast late last night.

The intensity of the rains gradually started reducing on Sunday night around midnight
and stopped in the wee hours of today.

People, who were forced to remain indoors for nearly two days, woke up to clear skies today morning, with the waterlogging receding in some parts of the city, even as the outskirts were marooned resembling like an island, with the normal life in the city started limping back to normal albeit on a slow pace due to heavy inundation and depleted public transport operations and other modes of road transport. .

The Chennai civic authorities had been working round the clock to pump out the stagnated
water using motor pumps and clearing fellng of trees, braving the pounding rains.

The rain fury was such that almost the entire city was flooded reviving the memories of
the 2014-15 floods, that wrought havoc.

As the unstopping rains were accompanied by strong winds that gusted upto 100 to 120 kmph when the system inched to the TN coast, power supply was disconnected in almost the entire city as a precautionary measure from Sunday night to avoid any incidents of electrocution.

As nearly-knee deep higher waterlogging was reported across the city, the people of this
megapolis suffered without power supply all through on Monday.

When contacted EB officials told UNI on Tuesday that the power supply was being restored
since today morning in areas where the water level considerably receded and it will be restored in other areas in phases once the stagnated rain water on the roads started receding.

A UNI reporter who went around some parts of the city today morning saw people struggling to purchase milk and curd sachets due to delayed supply.

Several tea shops, which remained shut for entire day yesterday, resumed today and only
offered black tea and black coffee due to non-availability of their reguar milk quota,apart
from disconnection in power supply adding to their woes.

The entire city came to a standstill as all the online bookings for food,cab, auto and other
services were hit, before it started gradually resuming today morning with sun shining brightly under clear skies, providing the much needed respite to the rain-hit populace of the city, though the scenario on the outskirts remained grim due to inundation.

Meanwhile, the met office said, the Severe Cyclonic Storm “MICHAUNG” (pronounced as MIGJAUM) over Westcentral Bay of Bengal off south Andhra Pradesh and adjoining north Tamilnadu coasts moved northwards with a speed of 7 kmph during the past six hours today.

It lay centered over the Westcentral Bay of Bengal off south Andhra Pradesh coast about 20 km east of Kavali, 50 km north-northeast of Nellore, 200 km north of Chennai, 110 km south-southwest of Bapatla and 170 km south-southwest of Machilipatnam.

As the system is nearly moving northwards close to coast, some parts of the wall cloud region lies over land.

The system is likely to move nearly northwards parallel and close to south Andhra Pradesh coast and cross south Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Machilipatnam, close to Bapatla during forenoon of 5th December as a Severe Cyclonic Storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 90-100 kmph and gusting to 110 kmph.

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