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Cyclone Nilam kills 11; 17 stranded sailors rescued in TN

Last updated on: November 1, 2012 12:31 IST

Cyclone Nilam kills 11; 17 stranded sailors rescued in TN

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Shobha Warrier in Chennai

Cyclone Nilam has so far claimed lives of eight people in Tamil Nadu and three in Andhra Pradesh. The devastating storm swept across north Tamil Nadu coast near Mahabalipuram.

Heavy rains all through the night due to the depression had thrown life out of gear in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. 

Continuous rainfall has already caused flooding in several parts of the district as people brace for the storm that is likely to cause extensive damage by destroying standing crops and temporary housing settlements.

With agency inputs

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Image: Women shield their faces during strong winds at Marina beach in Chennai
Photographs: Reuters

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Cyclone Nilam kills 11; 17 stranded sailors rescued in TN

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Chennai recorded the maximum speed of cyclone 75 km per hour during the time of the landfall on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, One of the many casualties of Cyclone Nilam was the grounding of cargo ship, MT Prathiba Cauvery.

It was anchored off at the Chennai Port to offload oil sevberal hours before the cyclone struck the coast. When the Cyclone Nilam struck Tamil Nadu coast on Wednesday evening, the vessel ran aground off Elliots Beach, Besant Nagar.

It is reported that five people are missing among those who jumped into the sea in panic in a bid to escape. One person died as he jumped into the sea. Fifteen others were rescued with the help of several agencies including the Navy and local fishermen on Wednesday.

The Navy and the Coast Guard are still searching for the missing people.

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Image: Onlookers watch ship Pratibha Cauvery, which ran aground allegedly due to strong winds, on the bay of Bengal coast, in Chennai
Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj

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Cyclone Nilam kills 11; 17 stranded sailors rescued in TN

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S R Ramanan, director, cyclone warning centre of the Indian meteorological department, Chennai, said that the Cyclone Nilam is expected to decline slowly.

Authorities had deployed relief and rescue teams across the country's southern states to combat the destruction expected from the storm.

"The cyclone Nilam started crossing near Mahabalipuram at 4.30 pm. Now it is expected to move in the west direction. Because of its movement in the land it is likely to weaken gradually. The rainfall itself may shift northwards," said Ramanan.

Strong winds measuring above 50 km/hour could be seen tilting trees of palm and coconut planted along side the coast and residential areas.


Image: A man holds onto a wooden stick during strong winds at Marina beach in Chennai
Photographs: Reuters

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