Chennai: Copious rains, brought by cyclonic
storm `Jal`, on Sunday disrupted normal life here and in other
parts of Tamil Nadu inundating low-lying areas, while two
persons were killed in rain-related incidents.
Over 10,000 families living in low lying areas in the
city have been accommodated in community halls and schools.
Chennai corporation authorities have set up four massive
kitchens to prepare food for these families, officials said.
A weather bulletin said that the cyclone moved westwards
and lay centred at 1430 hrs over southwest Bay of Bengal about
150 km east-southeast of Chennai and 280 km south-southeast of
Nellore, 450 km north of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka).
`Jal` would move west-northwestwards, slightly weaken
further and cross north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh
coasts between Chennai and Nellore as a cyclonic storm
tonight, it said.
Rain or thundershower would occur at most places with
heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated
extremely heavy falls (25 cm) over north Tamil Nadu and
Puducherry during next 24 hours beginning 0830 hrs today.
Isolated heavy to very heavy falls would occur over
Rayalaseema and South Coastal Andhra Pradesh in the same
period, it said.
Gales reaching 90 kmph would prevail along and off North
Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts. Sea
conditions will be rough.
A 50-year-old man died here today when a branch fell on
him due to strong winds, police said.
At Kanyakumari in Nagercoil district, a 38-year-old man,
who went for sightseeing near the beach, slipped from a rock
and was washed away by the high waves.
The victim`s body was later recovered, they said, adding
he hailed from Bangalore.
Chennai had been experiencing intermittent rains since
last night. It recorded a rainfall of three centimetres till
1430 hours today, the weather office said.
Being a Sunday, most residents preferred to remain home.
Most cinema houses reported thin attendance, a rare phenomenon
on an off-day.
Schools and colleges would tomorrow remain closed in
Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts.
If the cyclone hits the Chennai coast, it would be the
first one to do so in 44 years. The last such incident was
recorded in 1996. A Kanyakumari report said a 30-year-old officer working
in a car company in Bangalore, died when rough waves carried
him away as he taking photographs of the sunrise, standing
over a rock.
His friends jumped in to try and save him but failed, after
which they informed police. the body was recovered and sent
for post-mortem, police said.
He was part of a 13-member group which arrived here last
night for Deepavali holidays and were staying in a lodge.