Cyclone Michaung touches land near Ongole

Visakhapatnam: The outer band of cyclone Michaung touched the land on the east coast close to Ongole on Tuesday afternoon.

"The landing process started and the cyclone will complete the crossing process in another two hours," said IMD Amaravati scientist Dr S Karunasagar while talking to this correspondent.

Meanwhile, the system left a trail of destruction in Nellore district, devastating nine mandals with uprooted trees, fallen electrical poles, and submerged paddy fields. As the cyclone inches closer to the sea coast, an orange alert has been issued across Nellore district, prompting officials to be on high alert.

Overnight, Nellore and Kovvur mandals experienced relentless downpours, recording over 27 cm of rain, leading to a standstill in vehicular movement on the Grand Trunk road. Indukurpet and Manubole mandals bore the brunt, causing severe damage to rural roads and disrupting prawn farming units. Coastal villages faced wind speeds exceeding 80 km, accompanied by heightened cold intensity.

Normal life came to a halt in Nellore city and Kavali town as rainwaters entered homes in low-lying areas. Roads were blocked, and power outages were rampant along the Penna River localities. Somasila reservoir witnessed full inflows, reaching 30 TMC ft storage by Monday night, prompting the release of 10,915 cusecs downstream to prevent breaches.

Uprooted trees and power poles in Udayagiri and Atmakuru constituencies, damage to the Brahmeswaram culvert in Duttalur mandal, and the swollen Manneru rivulet in Atmakuru mandal added to the cyclone's impact. Girijan Colony in Atmakuru faced submersion, leading revenue officials to deploy earthmovers for rainwater pumping.

Collector M. Hari Narayanan urged the public to stay indoors until Tuesday evening, anticipating heavy winds and downpours with Michaung's impending landfall in the Nellore district vicinity. With the situation evolving, residents are advised to stay tuned to official updates and take necessary precautions.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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