Cyclone Michaung to make landfall in Andhra Pradesh’s Bapatla around noon
In its hourly bulletin at 8am on Tuesday, the IMD said the cyclone maintained its intensity with a speed of 90-100 km per hour gusting up to 110 km per hour
Cyclone Michaung, which intensified into a severe cyclonic storm on Monday, was expected to move north and make landfall in Andhra Pradesh’s Bapatla around noon on Tuesday, a day after it brought heavy rain and submerged much of Chennai, damaging infrastructure and leaving at least five people dead.
The rains and winds between 90 and 100km per hour and gusts of up to 110km per hour forced the closure of the Chennai airport. Floodwaters drowned the runway and stranded aircraft. All flights were cancelled until 9am on Tuesday. Many Chennai-bound trains were cancelled as well.
The system was expected to hit the Andhra coast with a maximum wind speed of 90 to 100 km per hour and bring extremely heavy rain. India Meteorological Department (IMD) director general M Mohapatra said the severe cyclone was expected to cross Bapatla with a storm surge of 1 to 1.5 metres.
In its hourly bulletin at 8am on Tuesday, the IMD said the cyclone maintained its intensity with a speed of 90-100 km per hour gusting up to 110 km per hour. It said the cyclone was centred off south Andhra Pradesh at 7:30am and was gradually moving northwards.
“As the system is nearly moving northwards close to the coast, some parts of the wall cloud region lie 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, during forenoon on Tuesday,” the IMD said.
Between 8:30am on Monday and 7:30am on Tuesday, Bapatla recorded 215.3mm of rainfall, Nellore 215.1mm, and Machilipatnam 151.7mm.
On Monday, low-lying neighbourhoods in southern Chennai bore the brunt of the floods. Over 2,000 people were moved to relief camps in Chennai as chief minister MK Stalin sought more National Disaster Rescue Force teams for relief efforts.
In a post on X, Stalin requested political parties and volunteers to join hands with the government. “I have appointed 13 ministers to speed up the relief work. Additional personnel are engaged in fieldwork.”
The river Adyar, which runs through Chennai and meets the Bay of Bengal, spilled over. Officials warned people of the risk of crocodiles and urged them against provoking them.
The high tides prevented water from draining out to sea through rivers as intense flooding was certain unless rain abated. The showers were unlikely to relent until Cyclone Michaung moved a considerable distance away.
Torrents swept away vehicles and trees across the coastal city while gusts snapped power lines and left Chennai without electricity for most of Monday. The city received 415mm in less than 24 hours between 8.30pm on Sunday and 1.30pm on Monday. The downpour was the most in Chennai since the floods in December 2015 left 250 people dead.
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