Cyclone Mandous live: Several flights cancelled at Chennai Airport

Mandous intensified into a severe cyclonic storm on Thursday evening but is likely to cross the coast at Mamallapuram as a cyclonic storm tonight, according to the India Meteorological Department. Wind speeds may hit 65kmph-75kmph, gusting to 85kmph, during landfall between Puducherry and Sriharikota. All coastal districts from Tiruvallur to Nagapattinam have been issued a red alert over wind speeds from December 9.The IMD said Mandous lay centered 440km southeast of Chennai and may weaken into a cyclonic storm by forenoon on December 9. “The cyclone interacts with the sea surface temperature, surrounding and upper atmosphere and the weather is meant to change continuously,” said S Balachandran, deputy director general, IMD, Chennai.IMD has issued a red alert for Kancheepuram, Chengalpet and Villupuram for December 9 as these districts are likely to receive extremely heavy rainfall (21cm or more) at one or two places. The agency issued an orange alert to eight districts onDecember 9 and 10. Chennai and Tiruvallur are likely to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall (7 cm to 20 cm) on December 10.The government, meanwhile, said it was prepared for emergency situations. Twelve state and national disaster response force units had reached the districts likely to be hit. Government buses will not be operated on Thursday and Friday at night. There is no official wordon train or flight cancellations, but city airport authorities said domestic flights might be disrupted from Friday afternoon. Southern Railway has set up a help desk at Chennai Central, Egmore and Tambaram stations to guide passengers in case trains are cancelled. The public has been advised not to visit beaches.