The flooding in Chennai following heavy rains triggered by Cyclone Michaung has claimed 17 lives so far, officials said on December 5.
The Greater Chennai police, through a release issued on December 5, stated that 17 people have been reported dead in various incidents due to floods in the city.
According to the police, as many as ten incidents of drowning and electrocution have been reported for which medical assistance was rendered.
As Cyclone Michaung made landfall on December 5, an incessant downpour lashed Chennai even as its fury from December 4 ebbed significantly. The rains and the subsequent flooding from the storm literally brought the State capital to a standstill, disrupting normal life and also resulting in fatalities and damage to property.
The city police shared an update on the prevailing situation, informing that about 16 subways have been closed due to waterlogging.
Further, according to officials, trees that lay uprooted on roads were removed at 69 places in the GCP police station area.
Flood warning announcements through the public address system were also being made by GCP in coordination with Greater Chennai Corporation for those living in the low-lying areas along the Adyar River bank, an official release stated.
Earlier, on December 5, DMK MP Kanimozhi said the Tamil Nadu Government is much more prepared to deal with the situation than in 2015, when incessant rains caused flooding in Chennai, causing loss of lives and property damage.
“In the last two days, we had more than 33 cm of rainfall, which is much more than what we had in 2015. However, the government was better equipped to deal with the situation this time. Many people have been evacuated (from low-lying areas) and moved to (relief) shelters,” Kanimozhi told the media on December 5.
“As many as 411 relief shelters have already been arranged. Water has also been pumped out of most of the areas and power has been restored to more than 60-70 per cent of the houses,” the DMK MP added.
Meanwhile, with #ChennaiRain trending on various social media platforms, people, especially netizens, joined hands to help fellow civilians in flood-affected areas.
The State officials were also trying their best to respond to distress messages on social media and extend timely and necessary assistance, sources said. In an attempt to flush rainwater out of the city, another corporation of Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore, dispatched twelve 41-HP motors to Chennai for flood relief operations. The corporation procured the motors from city-based manufacturers. These motors can flush out 4 lakh litres of water per hour.
Coimbatore Corporation Commissioner Siva Guru Prabakarn has also left for Chennai to oversee and join the flood relief operation. The officials said the corporation was also taking steps to send more such motors to Chennai for flood relief operations.
Meanwhile, holding out hope of some respite, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that the cyclone is likely to weaken as it lay centred over south-coastal Andhra Pradesh on December 5 evening.
Severe Cyclonic Storm MICHAUNG weakened into a Cyclonic Storm at 1530hrs IST, lay centered at 1730hrs IST of 5 December over south Coastal Andhra Pradesh about 25km west-northwest of Bapatla and 60 km north-northeast of Ongole. Likely to move nearly northwards & weaken further. pic.twitter.com/yZ1w7Y0ajo
— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) December 5, 2023
“Severe Cyclonic Storm MICHAUNG weakened into a Cyclonic Storm at 1530hrs IST, lay centered at 1730hrs IST of December 5, over south-coastal Andhra Pradesh, about 25km west-northwest of Bapatla and 60 km north-northeast of Ongole. Likely to move nearly northwards & weaken further,” the IMD said in a post on X.
(with inputs from ANI)