Cyclone Michaung, presently swirling over the Bay of Bengal and heading towards the Andhra Pradesh coast, has unleashed heavy rainfall on Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Intense rainfall was reported in north coastal Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Nagapattinam and Cuddalore districts, with Thiruvallur district facing the most significant impact from the downpour.
Widespread flooding is reported in most parts of Chennai, particularly in low-lying areas.
The cyclone is anticipated to make landfall between Nellore and Machilipatnam tomorrow (5 December) at noon.
Chennai city and its neighbouring districts experienced substantial overnight rainfall, with Meenambakkam recording 196 mm and Nungambakkam receiving 154.3 mm in the 24 hours leading up to 5.30 am this morning.
In response to the challenging weather conditions, schools, colleges and government offices in Chennai and three adjoining districts will remain closed today (4 December).
The state government has also urged private companies to facilitate work-from-home arrangements for their employees.
Approximately 5,000 relief centres have been established in coastal districts to assist those affected by the heavy rainfall.
Chief Minister M K Stalin, who reviewed safety measures last night, continues to closely monitor the evolving situation.
"The state machinery is prepared for Cyclone Michaung. Ministers and officials are on the ground. I urge the public to adhere to safety protocols and avoid unnecessary outings until the storm's impact subsides," Stalin conveyed on social media.
Due to the relentless rainfall, Bridge No 14 between Basin Bridge and Vyasarpadi has been temporarily closed as a precautionary measure to ensure public safety.
This closure has led to the cancellation of six trains departing from Dr MGR Chennai Central Railway Station, impacting routes bound for Coimbatore and Mysuru.
Moreover, 14 subways have been closed due to severe waterlogging, and 12 domestic outbound flights and four international flights from the city's airport have been cancelled.
Three incoming international flights were diverted to Bengaluru due to adverse weather conditions.
To facilitate relief and rescue operations, authorities have deployed eight National Disaster Response Force and nine State Disaster Response Force teams in the affected districts of Villupuram, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Thiruvallur, Cuddalore and Chengalpattu.
In a preventive measure to mitigate the risk of flooding in low-lying areas, the water discharge from the Chembarambakkam reservoir outside Chennai has been reduced to 1,500 cusecs.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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