Cyclone Nisha leaves destruction in Tamil Nadu and Chennai; 86 people dead
UPDATE: 3:53pm PST - November 28th
The death toll has now risen to 86 as flood waters have hit several small communities hard, leaving thousands homeless.
Though cyclone Nisha crossed the coast near Karaikal in the union territory of Puducherry yesterday, heavy rains continued to lash a number of places, including Chennai, Karaikal, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Tiruvarur districts, submerging standing crops in over one lakh acres.
As many as 2,426 revenue villages had been fully damaged due to heavy rains, the sources told PTI.
The flood situation in Chennai was grim with rain waters inundating several areas. The Adayar river, which runs through the city, was in spate following discharge of excess water from the Chembarambakkam lake.
The rains also caused extensive damage to roads and resulted in waterlogging in many areas, prompting the city road and rail transport to curtail services to many areas.
UPDATE: 8:51am PST - Novermber 27th
Cyclone Nisha has passed over Tamil Nadu and Chennai and left a trail of destruction in its wake.
Disaster rescue force of the Tamil Nadu police swung into action to rescue marooned people in over 100 villages in Nagapttinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Cuddalore districts, which faced the fury of the cyclone.
The Met office has forecast more rains for the next 24 hours in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry beginning 0830 hrs, despite the cyclone weakening.
Chief Minister M Karunanidhi announced Rs 100 crore for immediate relief measures across the state.
He had deputed his ministers to the rain-hit districts to co-ordinate relief works and also instructed collectors to take immediate relief measures. Officials were also working round-the-clock to close breaches in water bodies.
Cyclone Nisha has hit the Tamil Nadu coast and Chennai and the death toll is now at 64.
Cyclone Nisha was bearing down on the Tamil Nadu coast on Wednesday night as heavy rains lashed coastal districts taking the death toll since the north-east monsoon set in last month to 64. At least 22 people have been reported dead over the last few days alone, while more than 50,000 hectares of crops in the Cauvery delta districts were submerged and 64,000 hectares officially declared flood-hit.
An alert has been issued for the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu because Cyclone Nisha is expected to make contact with that area between Nagapattan and Vedranyam coasts this afternoon. 3.500 people have been evacuated from the area, and wind speed is about 50 km an hour right now.
The alert was issued after heavy rains accompanied by gusty winds swept parts of Tamil Nadu forcing authorities to close schools and colleges in Chennai and three other districts on Wednesday.
Collectors of Chennai, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Tiruvarur have declared holiday for schools and colleges in their districts, official sources here said.
Met officials said here that during the period isolated heavy rain was likely to occur over coastal Tamil Nadu while isolated rain is likely over interior parts of the state.
Fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea as strong onshore winds with maximum speed reaching 45-55 km is likely to sweep along Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast during the next 24 hours.
There have already been six days of continuous rain in that area and it is difficult to even go outside.