Storm makes landfall near Mamallapuram; rain claims four lives in Tamil Nadu

Cyclonic storm Nilam, which threatened to hit the Chennai coast, spared the city, but made landfall near Mamallapuram, about 60 km south of Chennai, on Wednesday evening.

Four persons were reported to have died during the day in different parts of the State, but a Revenue department official clarified that Kancheepuram district, where the storm crossed the coast between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., did not report even a single death.

Nilam evoked fears of large-scale destruction among the people in coastal districts in north Tamil Nadu.

The exact details about the landfall would be known on Thursday after an assessment by the Meteorological Department, according to Y.E.A. Raj, Deputy Director General of Meteorology.

Though many areas in the northern belt received heavy rainfall on Tuesday night, the intensity was not much during the day when Nilam made the last leg of its journey. According to a bulletin issued on the basis of observations at 8-30 a.m., the storm lay centred about 260 km south southeast of Chennai, and by 6 p.m, it made landfall.

At the time of crossing the coast, Chennai recorded the maximum wind speed of 75 km per hour and Kalpakkam 65 km per hour. Hereafter, it was expected to weaken rapidly after making northwestward movement.

A holiday has been declared for schools and colleges in all coastal districts, including Chennai, on Thursday.