Cyclone Thane weakens; relief ops underway

The cyclone has left behind a trail of destruction and 42 persons have been killed.

Last Updated: Dec 31, 2011, 21:20 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Chennai: A day after Cyclone Thane crossed the Tamil Nadu coast, relief operations were in full swing in battered Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Puducherry on Saturday.

The cyclone has left behind a trail of destruction and threw life out of gear in Cuddalore district and adjacent Union Territory of Puducherry. Around 42 persons have been killed and about 20,000 people have camped in relief camps in Cuddalore district.

“Major roads are being cleared of uprooted trees and traffic is being resumed. People are returning to their homes or going to the homes of their relatives from relief camps. Life is coming back to normalcy,” Cuddalore Deputy Superintendent of Police S Vanitha told a news agency.

Several trees, street lampposts and electric poles were uprooted Friday at Cuddalore by the cyclone that packed a wind speed of 140 kmph when it crossed the coast.

Tamil Nadu Rural Industries Minister M C Sampath, overseeing the relief operations, said restoration of normalcy would take a `couple of days` in the district which bore the brunt of the cyclonic fury that hit the coast with gale speed of 135 kmph.

District Collector V Amudhavalli said five senior IAS officials were supervising the relief works and assessing the damage caused by the cyclone, which has since moved out of the Bay of Bengal and weakened into a well marked low pressure over the Arabian sea.

The devastating cyclone weakened after the depression over north Tamil Nadu close to Salem moved westwards and weakened further into well marked low pressure area over north Kerala and neighbourhood.

Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places with heavy falls at isolated places would occur over Kerala during next 24 hours. Rainfall at many places with isolated heavy rainfall may occur over south interior Karnataka and north interior Tamil Nadu during next 12 hours.

The system is under constant watch of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).