People move in a boat past partially submerged vehicles in a residential area following heavy rains ahead of Cyclone Michaung in Chennai, India, on Monday. Reuters
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 notice said.
Cyclone Michaung was expected to make landfall on the coast of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday morning, the country's weather office said, with sustained winds of 90-100kph, gusting to 110kph.
Two people were killed when a wall collapsed because of heavy rain in the Chengalpattu district of neighbouring Tamil Nadu state, joint director of the state disaster management department, C. Muthukumaran, told Reuters.
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 down operations for the day citing severe weather.
Media showed pictures of grounded planes with their wheels submerged in water as the rain pelted down.
Taiwan's Foxconn and Pegatron halted Apple 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.
Authorities in both states were on high alert, evacuating thousands of people living in coastal areas, officials in both states said, with warnings issued to fishermen not to venture out to sea.
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.
In 1998, a major storm in Gujarat killed about 4,000 people, according to local media, while in 2021, close to 100 people died in an 'extremely severe cyclone' named Tauktae.
“Thank God it did not directly hit the coastal areas of Pakistan,” Sherry Rehman told broadcaster Dunya. She also thanked the coordinating agencies and authorities for a “stellar coordination effort.”
Cyclone Nivar made landfall near the city of Puducherry in the southern state of Tamil Nadu with winds of up to 130 km per hour (81 miles per hour), according to the India Meteorological Department.
Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan also thanked all the teachers, on the occasion of Teachers' Day, appreciating their vital role in building societies by educating the generations and graduating batches of intellectuals and specialists in all fields.
The UN and other humanitarian actors have not yet declared a state of famine in Gaza, despite worsening conditions in the Palestinian territory since the war started with the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7.
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has called for a strong turnout, was the first to cast his ballot. He vote at a polling station in central Tehran, state television reported.
Friday's Hamas statement said the number of hostages killed as a result of Israeli military operations "may have exceeded" 70. The reason for the discrepancy was not clear.
The United States military will airdrop humanitarian assistance into Gaza, President Joe Biden announced on Friday, a day after witnesses say Israeli forces shot desperately hungry Palestinians crowding around a food aid truck.