Be prepared: Chennai weather: Fast and furious cyclone headed to city: The Human Rescue Team

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Date: Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 7:44 PM
Subject: Be prepared: Chennai weather: Fast and furious cyclone headed to city: The Human Rescue Team
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Chennai weather: Fast and furious cyclone headed to city


Powerful cyclone ‘Thane’ hits shores near Kasimedu in Chennai on Thursday Morning.(TOI Photo)

TNN | Dec 29, 2011, 05.00AM IST

CHENNAI: Brace yourself for Thane the cyclone, which is on course to hit Chennai on Friday with gusty winds, heavy showers and warmer temperatures. On Wednesday, according to officials from the Met department, the “very severe cyclonic storm” was 450km southeast of Chennai by 7.30pm and may cross the coast on December 30. After Chennai, it will head towards Nellore in Andhra Pradesh.

The southern parts of the city received light showers on Wednesday evening and they are likely to get heavier in the next two days. The warmer currents will, meanwhile, send the minimum temperature up from 19 degrees Celsius now to 21 degrees Celsius, said the weatherman.

The city is readying for any possible calamity. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been put on alert. The corporation has geared up to deal with any damage the storm may cause. Regional meteorological department deputy director Y E A Raj said the storm is likely to enter the Chennai region between Cuddalore and Nellore.

“The cyclone will hit the city on Friday morning with heavy rain and severe storms. We expect wind speeds of up to 100kmph.We have sent out alerts. There are possibilities of gradual changes in the direction and strength,” he said. Prior to the alert, swell waves that travel prior to a cyclone had caused minor sea incursions at some places like Ennore and Kasimedu. “We are scared as sea water entered our houses in the night and we have to move to a higher ground. Many essential commodities became wet,” said S Pichaiammal, a resident of Ennore.

According to the Met department, the cyclone is likely to hit south Chennai areas first. Met officials have advised fishermen along the city’s coast not to venture out into the sea until the cyclone crosses the city. Hundreds of mechanised boats and trawlers at several coastal areas like Kovalam and Neelankarai on East Coast Road (ECR) and at Kasimedu fishing harbour in north Chennai remained on the shores.

Officials also warned residents against going to the beach or swimming in it as tidal waves would be two metres higher than normal. “There might be a gradual increase in the wind speed from Wednesday. The Met office will send alerts through Cyclone Warning Dissemination (CWD) system in case the normal telecommunication network fails. The satellite-based CWD networks will send direct updates to AIR, district collectorates and local administrations,” Raj said.

M Sasidhar Reddy, vice-chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, said he is in touch with officials in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to keep disaster management teams in a state of readiness. 

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