The state government on Sunday said all arrangements have been made to handle the situation as cyclonic storm 'Michaung' is likely to intensify and reach north Tamil Nadu coast on December 4 before its landfall on Tuesday in southern Andhra Pradesh.
IMAGE: People take a picture with a backdrop of the rising tidal waves as they hit the coast under the influence of the 'severe' Cyclone Michaung, at the marina beach in Chennai, December 3, 2023. Photograph: ANI Photo
The railways have cancelled a total of 118 trains. However, essential services such as milk supply and healthcare facilities would be operational.
Chief Minister MK Stalin reviewed the preparatory measures at the state emergency operation centre here and said that 685 persons in total from vulnerable areas in Tiruvallur, Chennai, Kancheepuram and Chengelpet districts have been housed in 11 relief camps.
Answering a question, he told reporters that, if needed, the Central government's support would be sought.
He assured the people that all steps had been taken to tackle the situation.
As heavy rainfall is expected on Monday and Tuesday, the government said it has deployed disaster response force personnel in adequate numbers, and relief centres are also ready to house people in vulnerable areas.
The government, in an official release, said as many as 121 multipurpose centres and 4,967 relief camps with all basic amenities are ready in northern and other coastal regions of the state, besides the Cauvery delta areas.
In Chennai alone, 162 relief centres are ready and, in one such facility, 348 people have been housed. Also, 714 water pumps are ready for use in low-lying areas.
The TN Disaster Response Force's 14 teams, comprising 350 personnel and National Disaster Response Force's nine teams of 225 personnel have been stationed in coastal regions of Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Tiruvallur, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Kancheepuram, Chengalpet and Chennai for relief and rescue operations.
The state and district-level emergency operation centres are functional round the clock with additional staff. For help, the control rooms may be contacted at 1070 (state), 1077 (district) and 94458 69848 (WhatsApp).
Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management KKSSR Ramachandran and Electricity Minister Thangam Thennarasu held inspections on the state's preparedness to handle the situation.
Thennarasu said the government is prepared with adequate workers as well as equipment. While 1,500 workers are on standby, a stock of more than 3,00,000 electricity poles is in inventory, apart from requisite vehicles and machinery such as cranes.
The general public and fishermen have been alerted about the cyclonic storm and over a 1,000 boats have docked at fishing harbours including Krishnampattinam.
The India Meteorological Department said the cyclonic Storm "Michaung" (pronounced Migjaum) over southwest Bay of Bengal lay about 250 km east of Puducherry, 230 km east-southeast of Chennai, and 350 km southeast of Nellore (Andhra Pradesh).
It is likely to intensify further and reach west-central Bay of Bengal off south Andhra Pradesh and adjoining north Tamil Nadu coasts by December 4 forenoon.
Thereafter, it is likely to move nearly northwards and cross south Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Machilipatnam during forenoon of December 5 as a severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 90-100 kmph gusting to 110 kmph.
As regards north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the IMD has forecast light to moderate rainfall at most places, heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rainfall on December 3 and 4 apart from isolated heavy rainfall on December 5.
Gale wind speed reaching 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph prevails over southwest Bay of Bengal. It is likely to gradually increase in speed, becoming 70-80 kmph, gusting to 90 kmph from December 3 evening for a subsequent 12 hours. It will gradually decrease thereafter.
The government said that the Greater Chennai Corporation commissioner and district collectors have been advised to house people living in vulnerable areas in cyclone shelters.
People living in low lying areas have been asked to reach the cyclone shelters in advance. The public has been cautioned against going near waterbodies and taking selfies or parking vehicles under trees.