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Several dead as Cyclone Michaung brings heavy rains to India

UPI
People wade through a flooded street following heavy downpours during Cyclone Michaung, in Chennai, India, on Tuesday. Photo by Idrees Mohammed/EPA-EFE

Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Cyclone Michaung hit the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu state Tuesday afternoon, bringing damaging winds and torrential rain to the country's eastern coast.

At least eight people died from incidents related to rainfall in the city of Chennai after the storm made landfall with 68 mph winds -- just shy of hurricane strength.

One person was electrocuted, while two others were killed by a falling tree.

Authorities said that a 4-year-old child died in the Tirupati district in Andhra Pradesh after a wall collapsed.

Officials evacuated about 9,500 people from coastal areas in Andhra Pradesh with 211 relief camps set up to take in evacuees.

Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, saw heavy rains flooding its airport while washing vehicles down streets. A road in Chennai's upscale Poes Garden area caved in from the strong rains that pounded the city as an electricity pole fell into the hole.

The Indian Army responded to a request for assistance from the Chennai officials. The army formed two columns, including 135 personnel equipped with essential resources, including boats, flood relief stores, and vehicles.

Wind speeds were expected to reduce as the cyclone dissipated over land but the storm was expected to continue to inundate the area with rain.

"Extremely heavy rainfall will continue in Andhra Pradesh," Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general of India's weather department said. "The storm will weaken into a depression by Wednesday morning."