Cyclone Nilam to make landfall near Mamallapuram

Onlookers gather to get a glimpse of ‘Pratibha Cauvery’ that ran aground near Elliots Beach on Wednesday. Photo: V. Ganesan

Storm makes landfall near Mamallapuram; rain claims four lives in Tamil Nadu

Cyclonic storm Nilam, which threatened to hit the Chennai coast, spared the city, but made landfall near Mamallapuram, about 60 km south of Chennai, on Wednesday evening.


Four persons were reported to have died during the day in different parts of the State, but a Revenue department official clarified that Kancheepuram district, where the storm crossed the coast between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., did not report even a single death.


Nilam evoked fears of large-scale destruction among the people in coastal districts in north Tamil Nadu.


The exact details about the landfall would be known on Thursday after an assessment by the Meteorological Department, according to Y.E.A. Raj, Deputy Director General of Meteorology.


Though many areas in the northern belt received heavy rainfall on Tuesday night, the intensity was not much during the day when Nilam made the last leg of its journey. According to a bulletin issued on the basis of observations at 8-30 a.m., the storm lay centred about 260 km south southeast of Chennai, and by 6 p.m, it made landfall.


At the time of crossing the coast, Chennai recorded the maximum wind speed of 75 km per hour and Kalpakkam 65 km per hour. Hereafter, it was expected to weaken rapidly after making northwestward movement.


A holiday has been declared for schools and colleges in all coastal districts, including Chennai, on Thursday.

Onlookers gather to get a glimpse of ‘Pratibha Cauvery’ that ran aground near Elliots Beach on Wednesday. Photo: V. Ganesan


Tens of thousands flee as storm hits south India

indiaMore than 100,000 people were Evacuated from their homes Wednesday as a Tropical Storm hit southern India from the Bay of Bengal, officials said.Rain lashed the region and strong winds uprooted trees in some places. Weather officials said the storm packed winds of up to 60 miles per hour as it made landfall near Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state.A storm surge of up to 5 feet was expected to flood low-lying areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh states, the India Meteorological Department said.It said it expected heavy to very heavy rainfall over parts of the states during the next 24 hours. Fishermen were asked to stay at shore until Thursday.State authorities turned 282 schools into relief centers in Chennai. The city’s port halted cargo operations, but berthing of ships was continuing, the Press Trust of India news agency said. Twenty-three ships were moved to safer areas.About 150,000 people were moved to shelters in Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh state, district official B. Sridhar said.In Sri Lanka, authorities said two people were killed and thousands displaced due to heavy rain and strong winds from the storm.Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Center said 4,627 people across the island nation had been displaced because of flooding, while 56 were evacuated in the central region due to threats of landslides. One woman died Tuesday after a tree branch fell on her, while another person was killed in flooding, the agency said. Floods have also damaged about 1,000 houses, it said.