Chennai: Chennai and its suburbs are still struggling to cope with the aftermath of Cyclone Michuang, which brought heavy rains and strong winds to the city and neighboring districts on Monday and Tuesday. The cyclone, which made landfall in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday afternoon, caused widespread flooding, power disruption, and damage to infrastructure and crops in Tamil Nadu.
The Tamil Nadu government, led by Chief Minister MK Stalin, has extended the holiday for all schools and colleges in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, and Chengalpattu till Thursday, as many areas remain submerged in water. The holiday also applies to six taluks — Pallavaram, Tambaram, Vandalur, Thiruporur, Chengalpattu, and Thirukazhukundram — where the water level is high.
The residents of Chennai are facing a shortage of milk, drinking water, and other essential commodities, as the supply chain was disrupted by the deluge. Many shops and markets are closed or have limited stocks, as the transport of goods was affected by the flooded roads and bridges. The situation has been worsened by the panic buying of people, who fear further scarcity.
The death toll from the cyclone and the flooding has risen to 17, most of them in Chennai. The victims include a woman who was electrocuted, a man who drowned in a canal, and a child who was crushed by a wall collapse. The government has announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh for the families of the deceased.
The relief and rehabilitation efforts are being carried out by the civic agency personnel, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), and the Indian Army. They are using inflatable rafts, ropes, and boats to rescue people who are stranded in their homes or on rooftops. They are also distributing food, water, and medicines to the affected people.
The electricity supply has been restored in some parts of the city, but many areas are still in the dark. The residents of Vyasarpadi staged a protest on Wednesday, demanding the restoration of power in their locality. The protesters blocked the road and raised slogans against the authorities. The police intervened and pacified them.
The weather department has predicted light to moderate rain in Chennai and other coastal districts for the next two days. The cyclone has weakened into a depression and is moving towards the Bay of Bengal. The government has urged people to stay indoors and avoid unnecessary travel. The chief minister has assured the people that the government is taking all steps to restore normalcy in the state.