The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an alert as Cyclone ‘Michaung’, which is brewing over the Bay of Bengal and the South Andaman Sea, is gaining strength. Cyclone Michaung, is expected to skip Chennai and make landfall between Nellore and Machilipatnam with winds that could pack speeds of up to 100 kmph on Tuesday morning.
The Cyclone is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm over the Southwest Bay of Bengal during the next 24 hours. Thereafter, it would reach the west-central Bay of Bengal off south Andhra Pradesh and adjoining north Tamil Nadu coasts by December 4.
The alert has prompted the Puducherry government to declare a holiday for colleges in Puducherry, Karaikal and Yanam regions and other state governments to put their response teams on standby. The Southern Railway has cancelled 118 trains in Tamil Nadu, including intra-state long-distance trains, between December 3-6.
Sunanda, the Managing Director id Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre, said, “The deep depression over Southwest Bay of Bengal moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 18 kmph during the past 6 hours and lay centred on December 2, 2023, over the same region near Latitude 10.6°N and Longitude 83.6°E, about 440 km east-southeast of Puducherry, 450 km east-southeast of Chennai, 580 km south-southeast of Nellore, 670 km south-southeast of Bapatla and 670 km south-southeast of Machilipatnam.”
“It is likely to move west-northwestward and intensify into a cyclonic storm over the Southwest Bay of Bengal during the next 24 hours. Thereafter, it would move northwestwards and reach the west-central Bay of Bengal off south Andhra Pradesh and adjoining north Tamil Nadu coasts by the December 4 forenoon,” she added.
“Thereafter, it would move nearly northwards, almost parallel and close to the south Andhra Pradesh coasts and cross the south Andhra Pradesh coasts between Nellore and Machilipatnam during the forenoon of December 5 as a cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 80-90 kmph, gusting to 100 kmph,” she said further.
S Balachandran, Deputy-Director General of Meteorology, Chennai, said, “There is a depression over the South West Bay of Bengal. It is moving continuously northwestward, and the next 24 hours are likely to concentrate the cyclone further. It will move northwestward direction and reach the west-central Bay of south Andhra and north Tamil Nadu coast on December 4. Then it will move parallel to the coast in a northward direction.”
According to the Met Office, north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will receive heavy rainfall on December 3 and 4, which will decrease thereafter. In coastal Andhra Pradesh, the heavy rains will continue till December 6. In Odisha, too, heavy rainfall has been predicted till December 6.
The Weather Office has asked fishermen to stay off the Southwest Bay of Bengal and along and off North Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts till December 4, the west-central Bay of Bengal and along and off the Andhra Pradesh coast till December 5 and the South Odisha coast till December 5.
The Weather Office has asked the fishermen out at sea to return to the coast during the next 12 hours.