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Two killed as Cyclone Nilam crosses Tamil Nadu coast

Last updated on: October 31, 2012 21:40 IST

Two killed as Cyclone Nilam crosses Tamil Nadu coast

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Cyclone Nilam on Wednesday swept across north Tamil Nadu coast near Mahabalipuram, about 55 km from Chennai, leaving two persons dead, including a crew member of an oil tanker that ran aground off the city.

The crew member drowned after a life boat carrying him and 21 colleagues capsized in choppy waters off Besant Nagar locality in south Chennai in high velocity winds just hours before the cyclone hit the coast. He was brought dead to a hospital while 15 others were rescued.

They had attempted to escape using the life boat after the ship with 37 crew ran aground having been drifted by high velocity winds. Two others are in a serious condition, Chennai Port Trust officials said.

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Image: Satellite image showing deep depression over the south west Bay of Bengal


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Two killed as Cyclone Nilam crosses Tamil Nadu coast

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The condition of the sea will be rough -- from high very high -- in the next 24 hours.

The bulletin also said that isolated to heavy to very heavy rainfall will occur over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and north interior Tamil Nadu in the next 48 hours.

The Met department has also warned that a storm surge of nearly 1-1.5 metre over the astronomical tide is likely to inundate the low-lying areas of Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur in Tamil Nadu and Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.

Fishermen along coasts of north Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and southern Andhra Pradesh have been advised not to venture into the sea in the next 48 hours.

With the weather department warning that Cyclone Nilam will hit the coast on Wednesday evening between Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, the government has put the administration in eight districts of coastal Andhra region on high alert.

Officials in the department of disaster management in Hyderabad said that so far, only Nellore and Chittoor in Rayalaseema had witnessed rains and gale wind with a speed of 50 to 60 km along the coastal region.

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Image: A man carrying his child tries to hold an umbrella at Marina beach in Chennai
Photographs: Babu/Reuters

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Two killed as Cyclone Nilam crosses Tamil Nadu coast

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About 4,000 people residing close to coast in Mahabalipuram, a famous tourist spot known for its temples and sculptures, were evacuated to safer places, officials said.

"Cyclonic storm NILAM moved north-northwestwards, crossed north Tamil Nadu coast near Mahabalipuram, south of Chennai between 4 pm and 5 pm on Wednesday," a weather bulletin said.

The system, which brought heavy downpour in several parts of the state in the last two days, would move northwestwards and weaken into a deep depression during the next six hours.

It would continue to bring more rainfall over north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, even upto 25 cm or more, the bulletin said.

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Image: Heavy rainfall lashes Chennai ahead of the cyclone
Photographs: @shri611/Twitter

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Two killed as Cyclone Nilam crosses Tamil Nadu coast

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"Rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls would also occur over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and north interior Tamil Nadu during next 24 hours," it added.

Gale winds reaching upto 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph would prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts in the next six hours and gradually decrease thereafter.

Sea condition will be very rough to high along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next six hours and fishermen have been warned against venturing into the sea till Thursday.

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Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj

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Two killed as Cyclone Nilam crosses Tamil Nadu coast

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Power supply was suspended in many parts of Chennai where more than 100 trees were uprooted by the storm, forcing people to remain largely indoors.

Educational institutions will remain closed in coastal districts of Tamil Nadu on Thursday, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said after reviewing the situation.

Southern Railways announced diversion and partial cancellation of trains, especially those passing through coastal districts. Trains were also being operated at low speed to ensure safety, officials said.

A report from Karaikal in the union territory of Puducherry said life was affected in the town adjoining Tamil Nadu following heavy rains. Officials said educational institutions in the district remained shut for third consecutive day.


Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj

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