Heavy rains lash south and east India coasts as they brace for powerful storm

4 December 2023, 10:14

People wade through a flooded street in Chennai
India Storm. Picture: PA

Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh states in the south and Odisha in the east braced for flooding as warnings were issued over tropical storm Michuang.

Heavy rain and strong winds pelted India’s southern and eastern coastlines on Monday and states were put on high alert after a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified into a powerful storm, authorities said.

Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh states in the south and Odisha in the east braced for flooding as authorities issued warnings over tropical storm Michuang, which is likely to hit the southern coast on Tuesday with maximum sustained winds of 56mph-62mph (90kph-100kph) with gusts up to 68mph (110 kph), the Indian Meteorological Department said.

India Storm
Civic workers in a flooded street in Chennai following heavy rain along India’s Bay of Bengal coast (AP)

IMD chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said that, based on its current trajectory, the storm could make landfall on Tuesday afternoon close to Bapatla in Andhra Pradesh state.

The Andhra Pradesh state government shut schools on Monday, while authorities in Tamil Nadu declared a public holiday in four districts that are likely to bear the brunt of the downpours.

In the eastern state of Odisha, a number of districts experienced heavy rain, which authorities said could intensify on Tuesday.

India Storm
The Tambaram Government Hospital in Chennai is flooded after heavy rains (AP)

The Hindu newspaper reported that officials evacuated nearly 2,000 people from coastal and low-lying villages in Andhra Pradesh state, with instructions to move more than 7,000 more to safer areas.

In Tamil Nadu’s capital, Chennai, heavy rain submerged roads and cars and flooded parts of the city.

There was widespread disruption to trains and flights, with videos showing water streaming on to the airport tarmac.

India Storm
People wade through floodwater outside the hospital in Chennai (AP)

Members of India’s National Disaster Response Force were evacuating those in low-lying areas of the city, local media reported.

The state government said over the weekend that it had deployed its own disaster response force and set up nearly 5,000 relief camps in coastal areas.

Tamil Nadu’s chief minister, MK Stalin, said the state is ready to face the storm, with authorities deployed to vulnerable areas, and asked the public to stay indoors until it subsides.

By Press Association

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