Chennai airport runway flooded as Cyclone Michaung nears India

December 5, 2023 8:29 am

[Source: Reuters]

At least four people died, factories closed and the runway of one of India’s busiest airports lay submerged due to torrential rain, as two southern states were braced on Monday for the impact of a severe cyclone.

Cyclone Michaung was expected to make landfall on the coast of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh around noon on Tuesday, the country’s weather office said, with sustained winds of 90-100 kph (56-62 mph), gusting to 110 kph.

Four people had died in rain related incidents in neighbouring Tamil Nadu state, including two killed when a building wall collapsed, the state’s disaster management minister and a top official in his department said.

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In Tamil Nadu capital Chennai, the state’s largest city and a major electronics and manufacturing hub, cars were swept away as floodwater flowed through the streets, while its airport, one of the busiest in India, shut operations until Tuesday morning.

Media showed pictures of grounded planes with their wheels submerged as the rain pelted down.

Taiwan’s Foxconn (2317.TW) and Pegatron (4938.TW) halted Apple (AAPL.O) iPhone production at their facilities near Chennai due to heavy rains, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Several areas of the city were submerged in knee-deep water and there have been power outages since Monday morning, a Reuters witness said, evoking memories of December 2015 when around 290 people died after catastrophic floods.