Chennai in crosshairs as Nilam comes calling - The New Indian Express

Chennai in crosshairs as Nilam comes calling

Published: 31st October 2012 08:44 AM

Last Updated: 31st October 2012 10:44 AM

With the almost certain landfall of Cyclone Nilam expected on Wednesday evening, South Chennai is on the edge as it may probably bear the brunt of the cyclonic system. While the cyclone is expected to cross between the coastal towns of Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, on its current path, it is headed towards Chennai.

Y E A Raj, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai, said that the cyclone was 450 km away from the Chennai coastline at 7 pm on Tuesday, and about 100 km from Trincomalee in Sri Lanka.

“It is moving in a north-northwest direction and the probable crossing point will be close to Chennai. There has been a slight shift in direction since 11 am, but that has not altered the course so far,” Raj said. “It is a marginal cyclonic storm, not having the intensity that Thane had last year. There will be increasing rains in the coastal areas as the system nears land,” he  added.

Speaking about Chennai specifically, Raj said, “There has not been much rain today (Tuesday) as the cyclone has been moving largely over water. So far, Chennai has received over 1.7 cm of rainfall, but much more can be expected over the next 24 hours.”

A heavy rainfall and squally winds alert has been put out by the Met Department. Fishermen in Chennai, Puducherry and other coastal districts of TN have been advised not to go out into the sea for the next few days. Ports too have received the usual warnings that go with such inclement weather.

Meanwhile, the damage already caused by heavy rains in Puducherry and Cuddalore since Monday has severely affected the samba crop as thousands of acres of agricultural land has been submerged in the floods.

The Fire Department in Cuddalore has advised people to keep essentials such as battery-operated torchlights, dry fruits and milk powder ready in the event of an emergency. Fishermen in Cuddalore district have moved their boats to safer places.

Torrential rains caused by  the cyclone affected normal life in the Cauvery delta districts also.

The North-East Monsoon, meanwhile, has caused landslides in 80 places and damaged roads across the State.

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