Tamil Nadu braces itself for Thane cyclonic storm

The state government announced a holiday for educational institutions in coastal districts, including Chennai, Cuddalore and Tiruvarur.

Chennai: Tamil Nadu braced itself for the
possible onslaught of `Thane` cyclonic storm, which is likely
to cross the northern part of the state by early morning on
Friday, threatening to bring very heavy rainfall combined with
squally winds gusting upto 135 kph.

The state government announced a holiday for educational
institutions in coastal districts, including Chennai,
Cuddalore and Tiruvarur tomorrow.
The regional meteorological office said the very severe
cyclonic storm `THANE` over southwest Bay of Bengal slightly
moved westward and lay centered at about 180 km east of
Puducherry, 180 km southeast of Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and 400
km north-northeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka).

The system is likely to move westwards and cross north
Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Chennai, close to
Puducherry around early morning of December 30, it said.

North Tamil Nadu and Puducherry could experience
extremely heavy rainfall of 25 cm, while isolated heavy to
very heavy rainfall would occur over south coastal Andhra
Pradesh and Rayalseema, it said.

Squally winds with speeds touching 55-65 kmph gusting to
75 kmph is likely along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry
and South Andhra Pradesh coasts. The wind speed would increase
gradually, gusting to 135 kmph along and off north Tamil Nadu
and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast from tonight,it said.

The met office said storm surge of about 1-1.5 meter
height above astronomical tide would inundate low lying areas
of Puducherry and Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and
Villupuram districts of Tamil Nadu in landfall. Sea condition
is very rough and would gradually become very high to

Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south
Andhra Pradesh coasts have been advised not to venture into
the sea in next 48 hours, the met office said.
Meanwhile,the state government said it is putting in place
measures to face the effect of the storm,with special teams of
officials formed to monitor the situation. PWD Secretary M
Saikumar held a meeting to discuss steps to be taken on a `war
footing` to tackle the effects of the storm.

The PWD said excess water would be released from reservoirs
supplying drinking water for Chennai.

"Depending on the intensity of the rainfall, PWD will
start releasing surplus waters from Red Hills, Chembarambakkam
and Poondi Reservoirs, if required," it said, adding people
living in surplus courses and low lying areas of these
reservoirs have been advised to move to safer places.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard said it had deployed ships
Vigraha and Vajra from Paradip and Visakhapatnam for
undertaking search and rescue operations required post land
fall of Cyclone `Thane` along Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu

Further, a CG Dornier aircraft from Vishakapatnam has
been launched from Santhapalli to Narsapur area for
undertaking coastal surveillance and assistance to fishermen
in distress at sea, a coast guard release said.

Efforts are being made by coast guard region (East) to
rescue stranded fishermen off Kasimedu (Chennai) who had
ventured into the sea, it said.

"All the Coast Guard stations along the East Coast have
been actively liaised since December 28 for early returning of
fishermen of that area," it said.

The CG has further requested the fisheries departments of
Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to ensure that fishermen do not
venture into the sea until the weather condition improves,
the release added.


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