Cyclone Michaung kills at least eight in southern India

(MENAFN) Southern India is in the grip of a weather crisis as Cyclone Michaung, named by Myanmar, intensifies its impact, claiming at least eight lives in rain-related incidents in the city of Chennai.

The states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are now on high alert, preparing for the cyclone's anticipated landfall on Tuesday. Forming over the Bay of Bengal, Michaung is projected to make landfall in Andhra Pradesh's Bapatla city, with the India Meteorological Department warning of its severity.

As it approaches land, Michaung is expected to escalate into a severe cyclonic storm, boasting maximum sustained wind speeds ranging between 90 KPH to 100 KPH, with gusts reaching up to 110 KPH. The weather agency also predicts a tidal wave of up to 1.5 meters, posing a significant risk of flooding to low-lying areas along the coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu braces for over 200MM of rainfall as the cyclone advances.

In response to the looming crisis, authorities in Andhra Pradesh have issued alerts in eight districts, imposing restrictions on the movement of people until 6 PM on Tuesday. Urgent evacuation efforts are underway, spearheaded by emergency workers and volunteers from both state and national disaster forces. Over 300 relief camps have been established to provide shelter and support for those displaced by the cyclone.

The gravity of the situation is underscored by Andhra Pradesh's extensive coastline, stretching over 974 KM, with more than 3.3 million people residing within 5 KM of the sea. Coastal communities are particularly vulnerable to the impending tidal surge and heavy rainfall. As the storm intensifies, roads, airports, and train stations in the affected regions have already faced severe disruptions, with reports of flooding and vehicles being swept away.

Monday witnessed Michaung's initial impact, with strong winds uprooting trees and electric poles, causing widespread damage. Tamil Nadu, especially the state capital Chennai, bore the brunt of the storm, reporting at least eight fatalities in rain-related incidents. Tragically, two individuals succumbed to electrocution, while another lost their life to a falling tree, highlighting the immediate dangers posed by the cyclone.

As India grapples with the unfolding crisis, the nation mobilizes its resources to confront the dual challenges of rescuing vulnerable populations and mitigating the impact of Cyclone Michaung, emphasizing the urgency of coordinated disaster response efforts.



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