Cyclone Michaung leaves trail of coastal devastation | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Cyclone Michaung leaves trail of coastal devastation

By, Chennai
Dec 07, 2023 06:35 AM IST

Three more people were found dead under the debris of a private building in Chennai, taking the death toll up to at least 20.

Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha began slowly crawling back to normalcy in the wake of cyclone Michaung, even as residents in the worst hit parts of Chennai continued to grapple with stagnant water that receded only slightly and continued power outages on Wednesday.

Emergency services personnel evacuate stranded residents from a flooded colony after heavy rainfall owing to Cyclone Michaung at Mylapore in Chennai, on Wednesday.(PTI)
Emergency services personnel evacuate stranded residents from a flooded colony after heavy rainfall owing to Cyclone Michaung at Mylapore in Chennai, on Wednesday.(PTI)

Multiple state and central agencies threw themselves into relief and rescue operations in inundated suburbs such as Tambaram and Velachery through the day, but three more people were found dead under the debris of a private building in Chennai that collapsed on Tuesday, taking the death toll up to at least 20.

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There were heavy rains in parts of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday such as Virudhunagar, Dindigul and Sivaganga, but officials said that there was no further damage, the cyclone had weakened, and the worst was now over.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) director general Mrityunjay Mohapatra said that Michaung, which made landfall in coastal Andhra Pradesh at 2 pm on Tuesday, had weakened into a deep depression by midnight. “Today, that depression further weakened and by the afternoon became a well-marked pressure area,” he said.

The system, he added, will dissipate while travelling in a further northward direction.

Emergency services personnel rescue stranded residents from a flooded colony after heavy rainfall owing to Cyclone Michaung in Chennai on Dec. 6.(pti)
Emergency services personnel rescue stranded residents from a flooded colony after heavy rainfall owing to Cyclone Michaung in Chennai on Dec. 6.(pti)

But visuals from parts of Chennai and its neighbouring districts on Wednesday showed the havoc Michaung had caused, with several localities still inundated, people requiring rescue through inflatable boats, rescue teams from the NDRF, SDRF and civic agencies ushering those stranded to higher ground, and food packets still needing to be distributed. Helicopters from the Indian Air Force were also pressed into service, air-dropping relief material in parts of the city that remained hard to reach.

Read | Cyclone Michaung: Schools to remain closed in Chennai

Large parts of the city continued to be without power for a third day, but senior state government officials said that much of this was deliberate to avoid “untoward incidents” since several power lines were still under water.

Chief secretary Shiv Das Meena said water was being drained by civic bodies in several areas of Chennai, and where this process was complete, roads were being cleaned and work on restoring drinking water supply being done.

Chief minister MK Stalin wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking a grant of interim relief of 5,060 crore, and asked for a central team to survey the damage caused by the cyclone. In the letter that will be handed over to the Prime Minister by DMK member of Parliament TR Baalu, Stalin detailed the damage caused by unprecedented rains triggered by the cyclone. “The damage is especially severe in areas under the corporation of Chennai. Infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and public buildings have suffered severe damage. The livelihood of lakhs of people has been affected,” he wrote.

Also Read | How auto giants are providing assistance to car customers affected by ‘Michaung’

Rising to speak during zero hour in Parliament in New Delhi on Wednesday, Baalu asked for the floods caused by Michaung to be declared a national calamity.

Prime Minister Modi said on Wednesday that his thoughts were with those families that had lost family members. “My thoughts are with the families of those who have lost their loved ones due to Cyclone Michaung, especially in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry. My prayers are with those injured or affected in the wake of this cyclone. Authorities have been working tirelessly on the ground to assist those affected and will continue their work till the situation fully normalises,” Modi said.

In Andhra Pradesh, where a police constable was killed on Tuesday after a tree fell on him during relief work, chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday directed government officials to work “compassionately” to restore normalcy.

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