Michaung cyclone – Chennai : No Power, No Network, No communication

Vanakkam all

Like everyone in Chennai, I am also one of the victim of this cyclone, person who couldn’t go directly to support one of my friend and his team of 12 students who didnt have food at night on the day of heavy rainfall – couldnt go directly due to unpredicted water logging everywhere, road closure, poor network.

How long are we going to keep blaming the government and speak up only in social media. Lets come to reality, lets get down on the street and know the reality and act accordingly, prepare accordingly.

Prediction and Failure :

We predicted that there will be cyclone, heavy rainfall, impact, but we failed to predict

– the amount of rainfall

– how fast the rivers, lakes would get filled in

– what would be the impact if the water were released at higher cusecs

– what are the areas which would get impacted – low lying areas, apartments in low lying areas, streets in low lying areas

– Previous metrics

– new construction areas

– Roads with improper patch work

– Proper care for cars during flood/how to avoid cars getting floated like toys

– transformers near our area

– number of workers in EB office, so that we understand their situation too during impacts


Practically speaking, AI/ML and other technologies didn’t save people from flood rather all these tools just helped to post the pictures, videos, metrics, situations of Chennai.

All these technologies are advancing due to consumer expectations and demand. Be it food industry, health care, telecommunication, manufacturing, Government, Retail and e-commerce, Education, Finance. Its all good but are we going to use these technologies to learn the impact, be reactive and give a solution using all these technologies ?

IT Engineers – dont blame the govt, lets blame ourselves :

Being an IT engineer, all of us tend to move towards niche technologies, supporting giant companies, using AI/ML etc, but we all failed to predict, learn, we are still failing in understanding what happened, how it happened and what we can do to avoid this next time. This happened in 2015, this happened now in 2023 – same impact. We all discuss through whatsapp, twitter, insta etc about the impact, respond back with all sort of emoji’s but fail to take care of ourselves, our street, our known circle.

War room :

Once you resume back to office, keep aside your regular tasks, dont discuss about contributing to flood affected people/areas with money, food etc – let that happen automatically without discussion .

Discuss about why it happened, why are we facing this every year, areas impacted, streets impacted, which lake/river water were released and at what speed/cusecs, pictures of the impacted areas, transformers nearby the houses, safety measures, what helped , what not helped, what an individual can contribute etc

First help yourself, your family ,your neighbor, your street, then a bigger radius. Always thinking about the other end of the radius , their impact and we forget about our own surroundings.

Be Practical :

I also dont know the answer. I am also one of the victim of this cyclone and this happens every year to me as well. We cannot sell the property because we bought in a low lying area. We cannot park the car on the bridge when the cyclone is announced.

Cloud, Devops, Servless, Containers : super

– Prediction and preparedness during announcement of Queen’s passing in September

– Prediction and preparedness during IPL

– Prediction and preparedness during ICC worldcup

– Prediction and preparedness during Football worldcup

We predicted well, prepared well , used all possible technologies – serverless : Cloudrun, lamda etc, Containers, kubernetes, Redhat openshift, scaling features. We succeed and celebrated our client success – which is good and required too. I dont deny. But we failed when it impacted us. We predicted but didnt prepare for the worse.

So whats next – summary – moral of the story :

This time, I am not going to wait for any announcements, not going to keep scrolling social medias for everyones advice, suggestion, do this-do that etc.

I am just going to check for my area

– lakes/river details, capacity etc

– EB office

– Transformers nearby

– Hospitals nearby

– Generator/invertor backup including maintenance schedule

– Dry fruit stock during cyclone prediction

– Inform corporation to clean up the street drainage system in advance

– Cut down trees which are crossing the EB lines

– Fill up the water tanks during cyclone prediction

-Create a whatsapp group with friends from low lying areas to know the impact and help them on all possible ways ( really missed this , this time )

– Knock every door of the neighbor, alert them on all these

One last thing would be : sharing all these to neighbors, known circles, so they can share to others if they find those useful.

Lets all work together to bring back ‘Namma Chennai’ to its feet and make it ‘Singara Chennai’ as always irrespective of cyclones, flood.

Ethu enga ooru , enga Chennai !! Vanakkam