Authorities in southern India have closed schools and offices, halted flights and evacuated coastal areas ahead of a severe cyclonic storm already causing torrential rains.
Cyclone Michaung is expected to land 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 to 100km/h, gusting to 110km/h.
Authorities in Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring Tamil Nadu were on high alert for damage, officials in both states said, with warnings issued for fishermen not to venture out to sea.
In Andhra Pradesh, authorities had evacuated almost 7000 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 told Reuters.
In Tamil Nadu, authorities declared a public holiday in four coastal districts and asked people in Chennai, the capital of the state, not to venture out unless necessary.
Chennai airport halted operations for two hours on Monday morning after torrential rains in the city, media reports said, and several flights were cancelled or diverted to other cities.
Australian Associated Press