As Tamil Nadu braces for cyclone Mandous, Chennai cancels over 12 flights, shuts parks – Hindustan Times

Chennai News

CHENNAI: As cyclonic storm Mandous, which is expected to make landfall past midnight, approaches the Tamil Nadu coast, the Chennai international airport cancelled more than a dozen flights and state capital Chennai shut down parks. The state has also announced the suspension of bus services two hours before the storm reaches the coast in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Chengalpattu and Cuddalore districts.

By 5.30pm on Friday, Mandous lay centred about 170km south-southeast of Chennai and 135 km southeast of Mamallapuram. Mandous is likely to make landfall around midnight between Puducherry and Mamallapuram, also known as Mahabalipuram.

Mandous, pronounced ‘man-dous’ is an Arabic word. It means treasure box and the name was reportedly picked by the United Arab Emirates, news agency PTI said.

People hold their umbrella as they walk on an embankment against gusty winds and high waves in Chennai on Friday (AP)

Officials said among the districts where bus services will stand suspended are the districts of Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Chengalpattu and Cuddalore. Schools in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur and Chengalpattu districts will remain closed on Saturday as well.

Weather department officials said Manous will cross north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast between Puducherry and Sriharikota as a cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph during midnight of December 9, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

“The storm surge of about 0.5 m height above the astronomical tide likely to inundate low-lying areas of north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the time of landfall.”

Puducherry: Houses swept away by the sea waves due to cyclonic storm Mandous, on Friday (PTI)

Under its influence, Chennai and its adjoining districts of Thiruvallur, Chengalpattu, and Kancheepuram saw intense spells of rain. On Friday in nine hours (from 9.30am to 5.30pm), Chennai received an average rainfall of 35mm with Kodaikanal registering the highest of 55mm, the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) in Chennai said.

On December 8, the average rainfall across Tamil Nadu was 4.15 mm with 36 districts having received rainfall. Nagapattinam district registered the highest with 26.6 mm rainfall, said KKSSR Ramachandran, Tamil Nadu’s minister of revenue and disaster management.

The cyclone is being monitored by Doppler Weather Radar Karaikal and Chennai.

Chennai: A fishing boat being shifted to a safer place at the sea-shore ahead of the landfall of cyclone Mandous (PTI)

Within three hours of landfall, the cyclonic storm Mandous is very likely to weaken into a deep depression, IMD said. Hence, any structural damage is not expected over the interior districts of Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh.

However, the heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely at isolated places over districts of north interior Tamil Nadu, Rayalaseema and adjoining districts of South Interior Karnataka on 10th December.

Tamil Nadu chief secretary Irai Anbu has instructed district authorities to evacuate people from low-lying areas and ensure an uninterrupted supply of essential commodities, the government said. “All departments have been told to be on alert for the next 24 hours,” said health and family welfare minister M Subramanian.

Preparations are being made by Tamil Nadu Disaster Relief Force & Greater Chennai Police Rescue Team for the rescue operations in view of the Cyclone Mandous (ANI)

More than 5000 relief camps across the state have been readied to relocate people from low-lying areas.

Personnel from the department of highways, water resources, electricity board, fire services have been told to be ready to move in for rescue and relief operations. In addition, 400 personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deputed to districts of Chennai, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Cuddalore, Mayiladuthurai, Thiruvallur, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu and Villupuram.

Anticipating tree falls due to strong winds, the Greater Chennai Corporation is ready with 272 tree cutters, vehicle-mounted and hydraulic tree-cutting equipment and JCB to remove fallen trees. 805 motor pumps have been kept in flood-prone areas. 10 personnel will be on standby in each of Chennai’s wards for emergencies. 169 relief camps have been opened for people from low-lying areas.



    Divya Chandrababu is an award-winning political and human rights journalist based in Chennai, India. Divya is presently Assistant Editor of the Hindustan Times where she covers Tamil Nadu & Puducherry. She started her career as a broadcast journalist at NDTV-Hindu where she anchored and wrote prime time news bulletins. Later, she covered politics, development, mental health, child and disability rights for The Times of India. Divya has been a journalism fellow for several programs including the Asia Journalism Fellowship at Singapore and the KAS Media Asia- The Caravan for narrative journalism. Divya has a master’s in politics and international studies from the University of Warwick, UK. As an independent journalist Divya has written for Indian and foreign publications on domestic and international affairs.