Chennai: At least five people died due to torrential rain in Chennai on Monday as two southern states braced for Cyclone Michaung that is likely to hit in the next 24 hours.
The Greater Chennai Police reported five rain-related deaths, including that of an unidentified 70-year-old man, who was found dead on the roadside.
At least two persons were electrocuted in the flooding; Padmanaban (50) in Dindigul disrict and Ganesan (70) of Thuraipakkam, who was electrocuted while walking on the road at Pandiyan Nagar.
In Besant Nagar, 35-year-old Murugan died after a tree fell over him. An unidentified 60-year-old woman was also found dead near the Foreshore Estate Bus Depot.
Meanwhile, at least 17 subways, including at Vyasarapadi and Koyambedu have been closed after being submerged in the flooding.
The Greater Chennai Corporation has urged those affected by the cyclone to raise their grievances through a dedicated WhatsApp number: +91 9445477205.
Earlier, the runway of Chennai Airport, which is one of busiest in the country was submerged in the torrential rain. The cyclone is expected to make landfall on the coast of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday morning, with sustained winds of 90-100 kph (56-62 mph), gusting to 110 kph.
Schools, colleges, offices and banks were closed on Monday and Tuesday in at least four districts of Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, because of weather conditions, a government release said.
Parts of Andhra Pradesh were likely to get more than 200 millimetres (8 inches) of rain over the next 24 hours, India's weather office said.
In Andhra Pradesh, authorities had evacuated nearly 7,000 people in eight coastal districts and were preparing to evacuate a total of 28,000, depending on the cyclone's path and severity, a senior official in the state's disaster management department said.
At least 800 people have been evacuated so far from Bapatla, the coastal town in Andhra Pradesh where the cyclone is expected to make landfall on Tuesday, P Ranjit Basha, district collector of Bapatla, said.
(With inputs from Reuters)