Cyclone Michaung: Pillion rider dies in Chennai's Adyar after tree falls on motorcycle

Water has entered residential buildings and low-lying houses. Elderly people have been evacuated on boats by the relief workers on the field.
The incessant rainfall inundated several parts of the city. A scene from Nolambur in Chennai. (EPS | Sunish P Surendran)
The incessant rainfall inundated several parts of the city. A scene from Nolambur in Chennai. (EPS | Sunish P Surendran)

CHENNAI: Manoharan from Adyar, a 37-year-old riding pillion on a two-wheeler, died on Monday after a tree fell on the motorcycle he was travelling by on the Mahatma Gandhi Road. 

The rider sustained grievous injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment, even as Manoharan died on the spot, Adyar Police said.  

Vehicular movement has been stopped from Mahatma Gandhi Road till LB Road in Adyar due to the inundation up to three feet. 

Water has entered residential buildings and low-lying houses in the area, as it has in many other areas in the city. Elderly people have been evacuated on boats by the relief workers on the field. Chennai Corporation workers have been deployed to remove the fallen trees and motor pumps are deployed to drain out the water.

Cyclone Michaung that has brought the heavy spell of rain has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm.

December 5 to be a public holiday

The government has announced that December 5 will also be a public holiday. It had earlier announced that December 4 will be a public holiday.

All educational institutions and government offices will remain closed.

The state government has also requested private establishments in four districts - Chennai, Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu to allow their employees to work from home on December 5 Tuesday too as far as possible, due to heavy rains and its impact.

Heavy rain brings crocodile to Chennai road

Meanwhile, a viral video of mugger crocodile, which was spotted by passers-by near Velammal School along the Perungalathur-Nedungunram road on Sunday night has sparked concern among the residents and forest department officials.

The crocodile was seen crossing the road near Perunguathur and entering the bushes.

Prasanth E, Wildlife Warden, Chennai told The New Indian Express that this is not the first time crocodiles have been spotted in the area.

Last year, two crocodiles have been spotted and they have been captured by the forest department. “We have given them the phone numbers to inform us if they sight any crocodiles,” said Prasanth.

Tamil Nadu's secretary for environment, climate change and forests Supriya tweeted urging people to not go near the reptile as they were shy creatures who avoid human contact.

"There are a few mugger crocodiles in several of the water bodies in Chennai. They are shy and elusive animals and avoid human contact. This one has come out as water has overflowed due to massive rains under the impact of Cyclone Michuang. Wildlife divisin has been alerted and they are on the job," she said.

Chennai airport to be shut all day, first such shutdown since 2015 floods

The heavy rains, have forced Chennai Airport  to close down its airfield from 9.17am to 11pm, according to official sources. During 2015 in Chennai, the floods had forced the closure of the airport for at least four days.

Many passengers awaiting their flights were stranded for hours as flights could not take off due to gusty wind and rains and also since water from Adyar River had entered the runway.

Earlier, five flights departing from Chennai were canceled and 23 flights diverted. Two arrivals were also canceled, according to Chennai airport sources.

While many passengers left for home, others stayed back. Many aircraft are still waiting at the tarmac to depart once the weather turns normal, airport sources said.

Food and other arrangements have been made for those staying back as part of the contingency plan.

Ground handlers have been advised to ensure mooring of aircraft and  safety of ground support equipments and operating personnel.

In 2015, the Airport Authority of India had joined hands with the Indian Institute Technology to map the geography of the airport and its surrounding areas using a drone to plan a long-term solution to prevent flooding. It was then planned to map the airport and the surrounding water bodies up to 5-10 kilometers radius from the airport.

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority has informed the Madras High Court the study has been done but this is yet to be made public.

Two guest workers killed as wall collapses in Chennai

Meanwhile, two guest workers who were staying in a thatched roof in Kanathur near an under construction building died after a wall collapsed in Kanathur. 

Police said the deceased were identified as Zakir, 20 and Afrose, 30 from Jharkhand. Police said the duo along with many workers were working in an under construction site in Gandhi Street in Kanathur. The building belongs to one Ayappan, said the police. 

The construction laborers were staying in a thatched roof next to the under construction site. In the wee hours of Monday, due to incessant rains and wind, a portion of the under construction building collapsed and fell over their thatched roof. 

The fire and rescue team reached the spot and rescued two people. The deceased were sent to the Royapettah Government Hospital for post mortem. 

Madras HC declares rain holiday

The Madras High Court has declared a rain holiday on December 4 for the principal bench in Chennai in view of torrential rains due to Michaung cyclone.

The Registry made the announcement after due consideration of the prevailing situation and the forecast of heavy spells of showers, taking back an earlier announcement that courts would function without passing adverse orders since counsels for all the parties to the litigation may not be able to attend the proceedings.

A similar holiday was also declared for all subordinate courts in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpet.

Lawyers associations including the Madras High Court Advocates Association had asked the Chief Justice to declare a holiday taking into account the heavy rains.

Chennai has been battered by rains as Cyclone Michaung nears the city.

NS Balachandran, Chennai Regional Metrology Director, said, "Cyclone 'Michaung' lies about 100 km east-northeast of Chennai. In the last 6 hours, it has moved at a speed of 10 km/hr and it's expected to move in the northwest direction. An intensified to severe cyclonic storm is expected by 4 p.m. today." 

"Further, it will move parallel to the coast of north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh, expected to cross Nellore-Machilipatnam by tomorrow at 4 p.m. Heavy rainfall and strong winds are likely to continue till this evening in Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur districts," he added.

Michaung is expected to make landfall between Nellore and Machilipatnam. 

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