Saturday, December 31, 2011
Cyclone Thane batters Tamil Nadu, Puducherry; toll rises to 42
Chennai: Relief operations were launched on war-footing to bring back normalcy in Cyclone Thane battered Tamil Nadu's Cuddalore district and the adjacent Puducherry, as the toll caused by the severe storm mounted to 42 today.As the administrative machinery was put in top gear, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said nine more people died in rain related incidents today. She said five people were killed in Cuddalore, the worst affected district, three in Kancheepuram and one in Theni. She also announced a compensation of Rs. two lakh each to those killed.Thane, packed with wind speeds of about 135 kmph, left around 20,000 people homeless till Friday, particularly in Cuddalore and Union territory of Puducherry. Parts of Cuddalore district wore a battered look with hundreds of uprooted trees and electric posts strewn across roads. Essential items like milk became scarce while officials started supply of drinking water through 60 tankers.Rural Industries Minister M C Sampath, overseeing relief operations, said normalcy would be restored in a couple of days in Cuddalore district. The cyclone also disrupted rail and air operations with services cancelled or rescheduled. Flights to international destinations including the middle-east and Malaysia from Chennai were cancelled following the inclement weather.Southern Railway partially canceled and rescheduled most of the trains between Chennai and southern districts. However, rains continued in the coastal districts of the state and southern Andhra Pradesh till Friday evening.Puduchery District Collector S B Deepak Kumar said that rescue operations were in full swing in the Union Territory. Uprooted trees were being removed from the roads.Cuddalore was the most affected, with damaged roads rendering it difficult for rescue teams including those from National Disaster Response Force and fire and rescue services to reach the cyclone hit fishing hamlets.Some 250 coastal villages inhabited by fishermen had been put on high alert and there was fear all night long. Several hundreds were evacuated and taken to the 49 relief shelters. Others have had to fend for themselves.Most fishermen have suffered financial losses due to the cyclone.Jaya, a fisherman from Puducherry told NDTV, "I have not seen a cyclonic storm like this ever. At least the tsunami, we ran away and saved our life. This time we have not earned even 10 rupees in the last one week. No one has come to our help.''
"Catamaran, boat, nets, engine, all have been either damaged or washed away. What are we going to do? They have not even offered us shelter in a school or some other building,'' said Shankar, another fisherman in Puducherry.A comprehensive assessment of the damage done by Cyclone Thane will take some more time. The immediate danger of loss to life has passed. But a question mark hangs over the future for thousands of fishermen along the coast who have lost or had their catamarans and boats damaged.Chennai helpline numbers:
Chennai Corporation - 1913, 25619237; Kancheepuram district administration - 1077, Police control room - 9445465536, 27238001; Tiruvallur district administration - 27661200; Police control room - 27661010.
Posted by Rajan Alexander at 6:49 PM
Friday, December 30, 2011
The severe cyclonic storm ‘Thane' tracked to the west over land, weakened rapidly to a deep depression and lay about 150 km west of Cuddalore on Friday afternoon.
This is even as north and north-west India braced itself for a foggy and chilly dawn of the New Year, with a fresh weather-maker western disturbance marking its run-up from across the border.
The ‘New-Year's week' could turn out to be even colder on the trail of the passing western disturbance when cold Arctic air is expected to fill the plains. This is expected to last until a deeper western disturbance calls in towards the end of the week, bringing back fog to the plains and stray showers in the high reaches. Meanwhile, remnant ‘Thane' may split up into two, with a moisture feed being directed to central and adjoining east India.
The US Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Centre has said ‘Thane' remnant would be monitored for signs of regeneration in the Arabian Sea.
An India Meteorological Department (IMD) outlook said that rain or thundershowers are likely at a few places over central and adjoining east and north peninsular India from Sunday, the New Year. This would come about as the north-westerlies to westerlies from the approaching western disturbance steers the north-northeast-bound moisture feed from remnant ‘Thane' to these areas.
Heavy to very heavy rainfall may break out at one or two places over south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema and south Tamil Nadu during the next two days.
Dense fog conditions could be unleashed over parts of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh during this period.
The arrival of the warm front of the westerly system could help lift minimum temperatures a little above the frigid lows during next three days. Meanwhile, rains triggered by very severe cyclone ‘Thane' on crossing land along Cuddalore-Puducherry have been less than anticipated and mostly confined to the north of the point of landfall.
Storm surges and high-velocity winds justified its status as a re-born severe cyclonic storm on arrival.
Posted by Rajan Alexander at 10:57 PM
Cyclone Thane leaves 33 dead in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry
Courtesy: Indian Express
A severe cyclone dumped heavy rain and sent wind gusts up to 140 km per hour after it hit the Tamil Nadu coast today killing at least 33 persons and left a trail of destruction and threw life out of gear in Cuddalore district and adjacent Union Territory of Puducherry.
The cyclonic storm 'Thane' however left the southern Andhra Pradesh coast unscathed after keeping everyone in the state on toes for the last two days. The two southern states were on high alert.
Cuddalore, about 170 km from here on the east coast, bore the brunt of the cyclonic fury, accounting for 21 deaths, Puducherry (seven), Villupuram and Tiruvallur(two each) and Chennai (one)in rain-related incidents mainly wall collapse and electrocution, officials said.
The storm crossed the coast between Cuddalore and Puducherry bringing in its wake torrential rains accompanied by gale that uprooted hundreds of trees and knocked electric poles, snapping power supply in several areas.
Posted by Rajan Alexander at 9:25 PM
By friend Rajesh Kapadia who administers the blog Vagaries of Weather has been working overtime for more than a week tracking the path and intensity of Cyclone Thane. In the above map, Rajesh provides the Cyclone's position as @ 1.30. Rajesh observes: "System pressures weakens to 993 mb and surface winds at 70 kmph. System moving west, slightly South."Here's the latest update by NetIndian on the Cyclone Thane
Cyclone "Thane" crosses north Tamil Nadu coast
The "very severe" cyclonic storm "Thane" over southwest Bay of Bengal crossed the north Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore and Puducherry this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
According to a bulletin issued by the IMD, the cyclone crossed the coast between 0630 and 0730 hours today.It then continued to move westwards and weakened into a severe cyclonic storm and lay centred at 0830 hours near latitude 11.80 North and longitude 79.50 East, about 30 km west of Cuddalore and 35 km southwest of Puducherry.The system is likely to move westwards and weaken further, the bulletin said.
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places, would occur over north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 12 hours and over north interior Tamil Nadu during the next 24 hours. Rainfall at many places, with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall, would occur over south coastal Andhra Pradesh during the next 12 hours and over Rayalseema, north Kerala and south Karnataka during next 24 hours, the bulletin said.Gale winds speed reaching 90-100 kmph, gusting to 110 kmph, is likely along and off north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts and adjoining areas of north interior Tamil Nadu during the next three hours and then decrease gradually, the bulletin issued at 0930 hours said.Sea condition is very high along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts.Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts are advised not to venture into sea during the next 12 hours. The maximum gale wind speed of 120-140 kmph has been reported over Puducherry and Cuddalore.The cyclone is expected to cause extensive damage to thatched roof and huts and minor damage to power and communication lines due to uprooting of large avenue trees. Flooding of escape routes is likely and the storm could also damage the standing rice, groundnut and maize in coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and rice and groundnut in coastal Andhra Pradesh.
The IMD has suggested total suspension of fishing operations in the area and shifting of coastal hutment dwellers to safer places. People in the affected areas have been advised to remain indoors and cooperate with the disaster management authorities.
UNI adds from Chennai: "Heavy rains lashed the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu since early this morning, disrupting normal life.Schools and educational institutions were closed for the day in all the 13 coastal districts of the State in view of the heavy rains forecast. In Chennai and suburbs, people woke up to blustery wind conditions and a steady flow of rain."
The rains, which were accompanied by squally winds, led to water logging in several areas, forcing people to remain indoors. The sea water rose to a height of more than two ft and had invaded the land off Marina.Police were maintaining surveillance along the entire stretch of Marina and public were barred from entering the beach, where boats and barricades were tossed up in air due to gusty winds. Patrol police were advising people and morning walkers, who were very few in numbers, not to enter the beach.Sea water had entered the service road on the Marina, which was located about 500 m from the shore. In the adjoining Foreshore Estate, people living on the shores, spent sleepless nights as the sea water inundated their huts and houses. Several people were evacuated to safer places.Traffic was disrupted in several parts of the city as squally winds uprooted trees. The cyclone also impacted train and air services as a few international flights coming to Chennai were cancelled. Southern Railway announced that train services were also affected with the cancellation of a couple of trains.As the rains were accompanied by strong winds, power supply was disconnected as a precautionary measure in some areas.Reports received here said normal life remained crippled in the coastal districts of Cuddalore and Nagapattinam which bore the brunt of the rain havoc as these two districts were located close to Puducherry, where the storm crossed the coast.The district administration has taken all precautionary measures to tide over any emergency.Traffic on the Villuppuram-Puducherry road was hit due to uprooting of trees under the impact of strong winds.In Nagapattinam also normal life was hit as the sea waters rose phenomenally and people living near the coast were being shifted to safer places and relief centres.A round-the-clock control room was set up in the coastal districts to monitor the situation.
Posted by Rajan Alexander at 7:51 PM
There are 20 nuclear power stations in India with excellent safety record. The establishment often tell us that nuclear reactors in India are designed to withstand natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis. So far they are more than vindicated. During the massive Gujarat earthquake in 2001, with Bhuj as epicentre, the Kakrapar nuclear power plant was unaffected.
In 2004 Tsunami that hit Tamil Nadu and Andhra coasts, the reactors at Kalpakkam were unaffected. Now comes further confirmation that despite the 'very severe' Cyclone Thane, the Kalpakkam reactor worked as usual. Surely, Cyclone Thane inflicted a massive blow on the Kudankulam anti-nuclear movement. Lets hope they fizzle out soon.
Kalpakkam Nuclear reactors not affected by 'Thane'
Chennai: It was business as usual at the Kalpakkam atomic power plants, around 80 km from Chennai, even as cyclone Thane lashed the coastal districts affecting normal life on Friday.
The two power plants of Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) located on the Kalpakkam coast were generating power as usual, though necessary precautions against the cyclone have been taken, said a senior official.
"Both the units are generating 150 MW power each. The cyclone Thane did not hamper our operations in any way," S Ramamurthy, MAPS station director, told IANS.
All the precautions to be taken as per the Operating Procedure for Emergency Conditions for Cyclone were taken in the warning period, he said.
There was no disturbance to any of the operating systems, including the power supply systems, during the entire period and the reactor operation is continuing.
According to Ramamurthy, there was no water logging in the MAPS complex. "The cyclone has not affected the construction operations of the 500 MW prototype fast breeder test reactor," Prabhat Kumar, project director of the power plant built by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (Bhavini) told IANS.
In a statement issued here by the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), the operations of the fast breeder test reactor (FBTR) continued without any interruption.
The research group working on the atmospheric dispersion modelling were closely monitoring the movement of the cyclonic storm and were feeding the information to the authorities for taking precautionary measures, the statement said.
Posted by Rajan Alexander at 7:04 PM
Cyclone Thane hits Puducherry, Tamil Nadu; 19 dead
Puducherry: Cyclone Thane hit the coast of Tamil Nadu on Friday, making landfall between Puducherry and Cuddalore that has resulted in the death of 19 people so far. So far 12 people have been reported dead in Cuddalore and seven dead in Puducherry.Five people died in Cuddalore in incidents of wall collapse and electrocution, officials said. A 45-year old man of Vanarampet village in Puducherry died in house collapse. (Watch: NDTV's Ground Zero report from Puducherry)The landfall happened very close to Cuddalore, southeast of Puducherry. The system is likely to move westwards and cross north Tamil Nadu coast, close to south of Puducherry, within a few hours and weaken gradually. As a result very heavy rainfall will continue over Northern Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Rayalseema.Puduchery District Collector S B Deepak Kumar said that rescue operations were in full swing in the union territory. Uprooted trees were being removed from the roads.Train services from southern Tamil Nadu were hit as many of them ran late or were stopped in the nearby station while flights to international destinations by private carriers including to Kuwait and Malaysia from Chennai were cancelled.Cuddalore was the most affected, with damaged roads rendering it difficult for rescue teams including those from National Disaster Response Force and fire and rescue services to reach the cyclone hit fishing hamlets.District Collector Amuthavalli said even as communication lines remained affected, over 5000 houses of fishermen had been damaged."We don't know what is happening in the outside world. All that we have been hearing since last night is the howling of the wind. Several trees have fallen down. Even mobile phone signals are not proper," S Ravikumar, a Puducherry resident, told IANS.Storm surge of about 1.0 to 1.5 meter above the astronomical tide is likely to inundate the low lying areas of Puducherry, Chennai, Tiruvallu, Kanchipuram and Villupuram districts of north Tamil Nadu.Even after the landfall, the system is likely to maintain its intensity for 12 hours even after landfall weakens gradually. Under its influence rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy fall is likely to continue over north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in next 24 hours.Eight teams of the National Disaster Management Force (NDRF) have been sent to the coastal areas. Two of these teams will be in Andhra Pradesh, rest six in Tamil Nadu in view of the cyclone warning.Another 15,000 men of the NDRF are on alert.Schools buildings in Chennai have been turned into shelter homes and the entire city is on high alert.A weather scientist had earlier said that Cyclone Thane would probably be half in intensity than that of the super-cyclone that struck Orissa in 1999 which packed wind speed of more than 220 km per hour.Chennai helpline numbers:Chennai Corporation - 1913, 25619237; Kancheepuram district administration - 1077, Police control room - 9445465536, 27238001; Tiruvallur district administration - 27661200; Police control room - 27661010.
Posted by Rajan Alexander at 5:27 PM
Severe cyclonic storm 'Thane' today lay centred very close to Puducherry and was likely to cross Tamil Nadu coast in a few hours and bring in 145 kmph of gale winds."The very severe cyclonic storm 'Thane' over south west Bay of Bengal moved further westward and lay centred very close to south east of Puducherry. The system is likely to move westwards and cross north Tamil Nadu coast close to south Puducherry within a few hours and weaken gradually", the regional weather office said.The cyclonic storm brought in copious overnight rainfall coupled with squally winds uprooting trees in some places of Chennai and elsewhere.Weather officials said heavy rainfall to extremely heavy rainfall ranging up to 25 cms would occur at many places over north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema.Gale winds with a maximum speed of 145 kmph was likely in the next few hours and it would then decrease gradually, it said, adding maximum wind speed of 115 kmph to 125 kmph had been recorded early this morning.The sea condition was phenomenal along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast, the weather office said and advised fishermen against venturing into the sea.Meanwhile, flight services were also disrupted due to the cyclonic storm with four international services, including those bound for Kuwait and Kuala Lumpur were cancelled.The state government had declared holiday for educational institutions in coastal districts, including Chennai, Cuddalore and Tiruvarur today.The government said it has put in place measures to face the effect of the storm, with special teams of officials formed to monitor the situation. PWD Secretary M Saikumar had held a meeting yesterday and discussed steps to be taken on a 'war footing' to tackle the effects of the storm.A report from Puducherry said the cyclonic storm, which hit the union territory since the early morning today, has caused extensive damages.Puducherry was cut off from the neighbouring districts of Villupuram and Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu as several trees fell on the roads due to the impact of gale winds, official sources said.Bus services between Puducherry and Tamil Nadu and other distant pockets were suspended due to disruption of traffic.Power supply was suspended since last night as a precautionary measure.Chief Minister N Rangasamy said revenue authorities have already geared up machinery to take all precautionary measures to protect people living in vulnerable areas. PWD officials were on alert to rise to any exigency.He said the current cyclone is the severest in the history of Puducherry.Delivery of newspapers was also hit due to winds and heavy rain. Flying squads were functioning at the instance of the revenue and fire service authorities.Official sources said that the control room functioning in the premises of the Collectorate had received more than 10,000 calls for assistance since last night.A holiday had been declared for all schools and colleges in Puducherry and Karaikal regions today.Officials said this was the first time that a high intensity cyclone was hitting the union territory after the one in the 1950s.
Posted by Rajan Alexander at 10:28 AM
Cyclone Thane crosses land at 4.30 am on Friday at exacly 11.8 N and 79.7E, that is at Puducherry. While crossing, it sustained core pressure at 983 mb, which weakened rapidly on hitting land.
Severe cyclonic storm "Thane" today lay centred very close to Puducherry and was likely to cross Tamil Nadu coast in a few hours and bring in 145 kmph of gale winds.
"The very severe cyclonic storm 'Thane' over south west Bay of Bengal moved further westward and lay centred very close to south east of Puducherry. The system is likely to move westwards and cross north Tamil Nadu coast close to south Puducherry within a few hours and weaken gradually", the regional weather office said.The cyclonic storm brought in copious overnight rainfall coupled with squally winds uprooting trees in some places of Chennai and elsewhere.
Weather officials said heavy rainfall to extremely heavy rainfall ranging up to 25 cms would occur at many places over north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema.
Gale winds with a maximum speed of 145 kmph was likely in the next few hours and it would then decrease gradually, it said, adding maximum wind speed of 115 kmph to 125 kmph had ben recorded early this morning.
The sea condition was phenomenal along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast, the weather office said and advised fishermen against venturing into the sea.
Meanwhile, flight services were also disrupted due to the cyclonic storm with four international services, including those bound for Kuwait and Kuala Lumpur were cancelled.
The state government had declared holiday for educational institutions in coastal districts, including Chennai, Cuddalore and Tiruvarur today.
The government said it has put in place measures to face the effect of the storm, with special teams of officials formed to monitor the situation. PWD Secretary M Saikumar had held a meeting yesterday and discussed steps to be taken on a 'war footing' to tackle the effects of the storm.
Posted by Rajan Alexander at 10:09 AM
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Cyclone Thane to hit Puducherry, TN tomorrow: IMD
New Delhi: A severe cyclone packing wind speed of over 129 km per hour is expected to hit Puducherry and four Tamil Nadu districts in the wee hours Friday bringing heavy rains to the region.Cyclone Thane, which has been brewing in the Bay of Bengal since Sunday, is expected to impact Puducherry and Tamil Nadu districts -- Chennai, Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur and Villupuram -- between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. tomorrow, IMD Director General Ajit Tyagi said here.The weather officer has advised local administrations to evacuate people from low-lying areas as thatched roofs and huts are likely to be damaged extensively and escape routes are also likely to be flooded."Storm surge of about 1-1.5 meter height would inundate the low lying areas of Puducherry and Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Villupuram districts at the time of landfall, he said, adding that the standing crops of rice, maize and groundnut may be damaged.The weather office has also asked for complete suspension of fishing operations.Though Thane currently has an wind-speed of about 140 km per hour, it may weaken slightly and strike the coast with a speed of about 120 km per hour bringing widespread rains."Farmers are advised to drain out excess water from the field to prevent crop damage. For taller crops like banana, the leaves may be removed and extra physical support may be given," he said.A weather scientist said the cyclone Thane would probably be half in intensity than that of the super-cyclone that struck Orissa in 1999 which packed wind speed of more than 220 km per hour.
Posted by Rajan Alexander at 10:24 PM