On Monday, the India Meteorological Department announced that Cyclonic storm ‘Michaung’ has strengthened into a severe cyclonic storm. Anticipated to make landfall by the forenoon of December 5, the cyclone is forecasted to impact the west-central Bay of Bengal, near the south Andhra Pradesh and adjoining north Tamil Nadu coasts.
Presently situated over the Southwest Bay of Bengal, the cyclonic storm is projected to continue its northwestward trajectory, intensify further, and reach the West-central Bay of Bengal off the south Andhra Pradesh and adjoining north Tamil Nadu coasts by Monday forenoon.
The IMD stated, “Gradually intensifying, it is expected to move almost northwards, nearly parallel and close to the south Andhra Pradesh coast. The landfall is predicted between Nellore and Machilipatnam, near Bapatla, during the forenoon of December 5, as a ‘Severe Cyclonic Storm’ with maximum sustained winds of 90-100 mph, gusting up to 110 mph.”
Heavy rainfall in Chennai
On Monday, Cyclone Michaung triggered heavy rainfall, resulting in severe waterlogging across various areas in Chennai. Numerous low-lying regions, including hospitals and residential areas, experienced flooding, requiring efforts from civic agency personnel to clear the stagnant water.
The inclement weather has led to disruptions in train and flight services. Additionally, as a precautionary measure, the Chennai bench of the Madras High Court and all district courts in the city have been temporarily closed.
Waterlogging incidents have been reported in several parts of the city, including Maduravoyal, Porur, Saligaramam, and Valasaravakkam. The impact of strong winds has led to uprooted trees in various locations.
The inclement weather conditions caused significant transportation disruptions, leading to the cancellation or delay of several trains and flights.
As per PTI reports, at least 12 domestic outbound services, including routes to destinations such as Ahmedabad and Thiruvananthapuram, were canceled in Chennai. Additionally, a private carrier canceled four international services, including flights to Dubai and Sri Lanka. Unidentified officials stated that three incoming international services were diverted to Bengaluru.
Due to heavy downpours causing the water level to reach the danger mark at Bridge No. 14 between Vyasarpadi and Basin Bridge, 11 express trains departing from Chennai Central had to be cancelled. The Divisional Railway Manager of Chennai, Southern Railway, shared this information on X (formerly known as Twitter), stating, “In view of heavy rain in Chennai and the water crossing the danger level in Bridge No. 14 between Basin Bridge and Vyasarpady stations, the trains have been regulated as given below. Please go through and plan your journeys accordingly. We regret the inconvenience caused.”
Suburban train services in all Chennai Suburban sections have been temporarily suspended until 8 am on Monday due to the impact of Cyclone Michaung. The decision was made in light of the heavy rainfall affecting the region.
Anticipating adverse weather conditions, Tamil Nadu has declared a public holiday. The precautionary measure is in response to the warning of severe weather conditions expected across Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in the coming days.
Additionally, in response to the rains, the principal bench of the Madras High Court and all district courts in Chennai will remain shut for the specified period.
Section 144 imposed on coastal areas of Puducherry
In response to Cyclone Michaung, the Puducherry district administration has implemented Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code in coastal areas near the seashore of Puducherry, as reported by ANI. The imposition of Section 144 entails restrictions on the movement of all individuals in these coastal areas, effective from 7 pm on December 3 until 6 pm on December 5. This precautionary measure aims to prevent potential loss of life or property due to cyclonic conditions.
The official notice accompanying the imposition of Section 144 in coastal areas near the seashore of Puducherry due to Cyclone Michaung includes a warning. It states, “Any person violating this order shall be liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or both.” This emphasizes the seriousness of the order and the consequences for non-compliance, underlining the need for strict adherence to the imposed restrictions during the specified period.