Cyclone Michaung: 8 dead, TN govt declares public holiday; landfall along Andhra coast todaytext_fields
Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government has announced a public holiday for educational institutions, banks and government offices in Chennai and neighbouring cities, on Tuesday, following the flood-like situation in the wake of cyclonic storm Michaung.
The public holiday has been declared under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
“All schools, colleges, educational institutions, government offices including the offices of Public Undertakings / Corporations, Boards, Banks, Financial Institutions etc., in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu districts will be closed on December 5, Tuesday,” a G.O. issued by Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena said.
However, all essential services, such as police, fire service, local bodies, milk supply, water supply, hospitals/medical shops, power supply, transport, fuel outlets, hotels/restaurants, etc., and offices engaged in disaster response, relief and rescue activities shall function as usual, it said.
The State government had earlier declared a public holiday in these four districts on December 4 too. According to the reports, eight people have lost their lives in rain-related accidents.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy rainfall in Chennai and surrounding areas for the next 24 hours. As of 11 pm on Monday, the "Severe Cyclone Michaung" lies 130 km North of Chennai, the IMD said.
The Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority (TNSDMA) on Monday also issued an advisory to private companies in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, and Chengalpattu districts, requesting them to advise their employees to work from home on December 5 as well.
The advisory cited weather predictions about the storm due to which strong wind and heavy rains are expected in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, and Chengalpattu districts on December 5.
An official release also said the TNSDMA has requested private companies in these four districts to allow only essential staff to work, and only under unavoidable situations. The TNSDMA had on Sunday too, issued such an advisory for December 4, Monday.
Heavy rains have been pounding various parts of the state causing flooding and raising concerns of a recurrence of the 2015 deluge. Tamil Nadu received isolated very heavy to extremely heavy with exceptionally heavy falls till 8:30 am. Transport services also took a severe hit as several trains and flights were cancelled.
Cyclonic storm Michaung, positioned near Chennai and Puducherry, is expected to make landfall along the southern coast of Andhra Pradesh between Nellore and Machilipatnam, close to Bapatla on Tuesday morning, intensifying rainfall.
Nearly 900 people residing in villages along the southern coast of Andhra Pradesh have been evacuated to safety. With the severe cyclonic storm Michaung anticipated to hit Bapatla district within hours, residents have been advised against going outdoors.
Bapatla district superintendent of police Vakul Jindal told PTI that people living in thatched houses in the region have been evacuated. He said 21 cyclone shelters have been set up, even as 10 trees got uprooted and 12 bridges and culverts are overflowing in the district.
The rains and winds also snapped power lines and more than 140 trains and 40 flights were cancelled in Andhra Pradesh.