In a significant disruption to Apple's iPhone production, Taiwanese manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron have paused operations at their facilities near Chennai, India, due to severe weather conditions. The region, known for its robust electronics and manufacturing industries, is currently grappling with the impacts of heavy rainfall and Cyclone Michaung.

Foxconn, which boasts a workforce of about 35,000 at its Tamil Nadu factory, is yet to determine a timeline for resuming production, underscoring the severity of the situation. This decision comes amidst Apple's strategic pivot to diversify its manufacturing base away from China, with India emerging as a key alternative production hub. Despite these efforts, Apple's highest quarterly shipment record from India, exceeding 2.5 million units as per Counterpoint Research, faces a potential setback due to these unforeseen weather challenges.

The impact of the cyclone and the resulting intense rainfalls have been felt widely across Tamil Nadu state, causing significant disruptions including the temporary closure of Chennai's major airport. The cyclone, expected to make landfall in the neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh, brought winds up to 110 kph and heavy downpours, leading to tragic incidents including the loss of at least two lives due to a wall collapse in Chengalpattu district.

The state government took proactive measures, including the closure of schools, colleges, and offices in several districts, to ensure public safety amidst the severe weather conditions. Power outages and knee-deep water in various parts of Chennai added to the challenges faced by residents and businesses alike.

In Andhra Pradesh, where Cyclone Michaung is anticipated to make landfall, preparations for potential evacuations are underway. The state's disaster management department has already relocated thousands of coastal residents and is prepared to evacuate tens of thousands more, depending on the cyclone's trajectory and intensity.

Foxconn and Pegatron, both key players in Apple's supply chain, have not commented on the situation. This marks the second recent disruption for Pegatron, following a temporary shutdown in September due to a factory fire. Apple, maintaining its usual discretion, declined to comment on these developments.

This scenario underscores the vulnerabilities of global supply chains to natural disasters and extreme weather events. The suspension of iPhone production in one of Apple's key manufacturing locations highlights the complex challenges companies face in maintaining consistent operations in the face of increasingly unpredictable environmental conditions.