Cyclone Michaung | Coastal Tamil Nadu braces for heavy rain as Andhra Pradesh gears up for landfall

Depression to develop into Cyclone Michaung by December 4, landfall in Andhra Pradesh on December 5, the Met office says; preparations under way for rescue, relief, evacuation efforts

December 02, 2023 10:50 pm | Updated December 03, 2023 03:01 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA/CHENNAI

Fishermen of Akkaraipettai and Keechankuppam villages in Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam district refrained from venturing into the sea in view of a cyclone warning on December 2, 2023.

Fishermen of Akkaraipettai and Keechankuppam villages in Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam district refrained from venturing into the sea in view of a cyclone warning on December 2, 2023. | Photo Credit: M. Moorthy

Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu prepared for heavy rainfall in their coastal districts as a deep depression intensified over the Bay of Bengal, moving northwest and likely to evolve into Cyclone Michaung by December 3 morning. Winds with a maximum sustained speed of 80 to 90 kmph, gusting up to 100 kmph, are expected, the India Meteorological Department said on December 2.

Disaster relief preparations are in full spate along the coast, with State and national teams in place and Naval forces in the region on standby. Fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea, and 144 trains have been cancelled. In Andhra Pradesh, relief camps are being set up and arrangements are being made to evacuate coastal regions if needed.

Fishermen shifts their boats to safety in view of Cyclone Michaung at Jalaripeta fishing colony in Visakhapatnam on December 2 2023.

Fishermen shifts their boats to safety in view of Cyclone Michaung at Jalaripeta fishing colony in Visakhapatnam on December 2 2023. | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

Landfall on December 5

On December, the deep depression prevailed over the southwest Bay of Bengal, about 420 km southeast of Chennai. After it becomes a cyclonic storm, it is expected to reach the waters off southern Andhra Pradesh and the adjoining north Tamil Nadu by December 4 morning, and will then move parallel to the coast, making landfall a day later between Nellore and Machilipatnam, the Regional Meteorological Centre in Chennai said.

Also Read | Cyclone Michaung live updates

Heavy to very heavy rainfall has been forecast in parts of Tamil Nadu on December 3. Extremely heavy rains are possible in isolated places of coastal Andhra and Yanam on December 4 and 5. Rayalaseema and Odisha may also get heavy rains as the cyclone makes landfall.

Rescue teams

Ten teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) will be deployed with the needed rescue equipment at all the places where the cyclonic storm is likely to pass, the NDRF 10th Battalion Commandant Zahid Khan said.

In Andhra Pradesh, teams will be positioned in the Krishna, Prakasam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Nellore, West and East Godavari, Srikakulam and other districts. “Two teams were already deployed in Tirupati and Yanam and more teams are moving to other areas that may be affected,” Mr. Khan said, adding that women personnel were being included in each team to aid in the rescue of women victims.

Safety precautions

Fishermen in 63 villages have been asked not to venture into the sea, river or backwaters from December 1 to 6, and farmers have been advised to harvest mature crops immediately.

The South Central Railway (SCR) has cancelled 144 trains scheduled to run between December 3 and 7, as a safety measure. These include trains running along routes connecting various stations in Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Puducherry, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Howrah, and Lucknow, according to an SCR statement.

Relief preparations

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy directed the officials to be on high alert, to shift affected people from the coastal areas to safer locations, to arrange relief camps, and to ensure that sufficient stocks of milk, drinking water, and food are available.

Also read | South Central Railway cancels 118 long-distance trains

The State government has released ₹2 crore to Tirupati district, and ₹1 crore each to the SPSR Nellore, Prakasam, Bapatla, Krishna, West Godavari, Dr BR Ambedkar Konaseema, and Kakinada districts, to undertake relief measures.

Naval support

The Eastern Naval Command is closely monitoring the impending cyclonic storm, and is prepared to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Flood relief teams and diving teams have been kept on standby to augment civilian resources.

Naval ships are on standby with relief facilities, diving teams, and medical personnel to render assistance in the affected areas along the east coast. Naval aircraft have also been kept ready at the Naval air stations — INS Dega at Visakhapatnam and INS Rajali near Chennai — to undertake aerial surveys, evacuate casualties, and airdrop relief materials, as needed..

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