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Cyclone Thane kills five in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry

Friday December 30, 2011 03:12:26 PM, IANS

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Cyclone Thane makes landfall in Tamil Nadu

Cyclone Thane, packing wind speed of 140 kmph, made landfall on the coast between Cuddalore in Tamil and Puducherry Friday morning, officials of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) here said.  

Chennai/Puducherry/Hyderabad: Five people were killed as Cyclone Thane, packing a wind speed of 140 kmph, made landfall on the coast between Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Friday morning, officials said.

In Tamil Nadu, two people were killed when they stepped on a power line that had snapped due to the strong winds and one person died when a tree fell on his house. In Puducherry, a person was killed in a roof collapse and another in a wall collapse.

"Waves measuring 1.5 metres in height are hitting the shoreline. The storm is more wind-centric and not much of rain. Puducherry recorded 14 cm rain while Cuddalore 7 cm," an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official told IANS.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa met officials to review the situation. Normal life in Chennai, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts, and Puducherry was affected.

In Chennai, people in low-lying areas were shifted to relief centres and food packets were distributed. Police banned public from venturing onto the Marina beach as sea waters entered inland, around 500 metres from the shoreline.

Boats and nets of fishermen were dragged into the sea due to high tides.

Chennai Corporation officials said around 2,000 people were evacuated and housed in schools and marriage halls which had been converted as relief centres.

Flights at the Chennai airport are being delayed due to strong winds. Southern Railway cancelled the Cholan Express and Trichy-Chennai Express. The Chennai-Puducherry train was terminated at Chengalpattu.

Chennai and Cuddalore witnessed heavy wind and rain since Thursday night. In some places, tress have been uprooted disrupting power lines and traffic.

The sea has been rough and has inundated some residential areas along the East Coast Road connecting Chennai and Puducherry.

The Tamil Nadu government has set up 20 teams to monitor the water levels in lakes and other water bodies in Chennai, Thiruvallur and other places. Eight teams of the National Disaster Management Force have been sent to the coastal districts.

Cuddalore district officials said traffic on the Cuddalore-Chidambaram road was suspended due to uprooting of trees.

In Puducherry, power has been switched off since 11 p.m. Thursday night as a precaution,.

"We don't know what is happening in the outside world. All that we hear is the howling of wind. Many trees have fallen down. Even mobile phone signals are not proper," Puducherry resident S. Ravikumar told IANS.

Heavy rain accompanied by strong gale lashed south coastal Andhra and Chittoor district of Rayalaseema region under the impact of Cyclone Thane. Parts of Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur and Chittoor districts have been receiving rain since morning.

Two villages of Kandriga block in Chittoor district have been inundated.

There were reports of strong gales uprooting trees in the coastal areas. High tidal waves continued to slam the coast. Sea water entered into houses near Suryalanka coast in Guntur district.

Chittoor, Tirupati and other towns in Chittoor district received heavy rain since early morning.

People have been evacuated from some coastal and low-lying villages.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who is in New Delhi, reviewed the situation with revenue minister Raghuveera Reddy and chief secretary Pankaj Dwivedi over phone.

The IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places in north coastal and north interior Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry till Friday night. Rainfall would occur over south coastal Andhra Pradesh till Friday night and over Rayalseema, north Kerala and south Karnataka till Saturday afternoon.









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