October 2012

Gale force winds as Nilam makes landfall


The cyclonic storm, Nilam, crossed the coast near Mamallapuram on Wednesday evening.

Announcing the storm's landfall, Y E A Raj, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, told The Hindu that it started around 4 p.m. and was over by 6 p.m. It was likely that the storm would have crossed near Kalpakkam. The exact details about the landfall would be known on Thursday after an assessment made by officials of the Meteorological Department.

What was significant was that the storm, which remained virtually stationary on Monday and Tuesday, picked up enormous amount of speed on Wednesday, particularly from afternoon.

In a matter of six hours, the process of landfall was over.

Cyclone Nilam hits Tamil Nadu, no major damage reported so far

 CHENNAI: Cyclone Nilam made landfall on the Tamil Nadu coast between Mahabalipuram and Kalpakkam on Wednesday evening with strong winds. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the cyclone started crossing the coast around 4.45pm and is expected to cross the coast in about two hours. Strong winds have been recorded and wind speed is expect to touch 110kmph. 

Link between cyclones, climate change unclear: Scientists

 PARIS, OCT 31: 

Was Hurricane Sandy caused by climate change?

This was the contention today of Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York state, which bore the brunt of the superstorm.

“Anyone who thinks there isn’t a change in weather patterns is denying reality,” he said.

Many climate scientists would agree with Cuomo when it comes to identifying the cause of the record-breaking droughts and floods of recent years.

But when it comes to tropical storms, the experts also say they cannot give a black-or-white answer for one of the most complex issues in meteorology.

Madras Atomic Power Station on high alert


The Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS), Kalpakkam, is on high alert to meet any eventuality from cyclone Nilam, which is expected to make landfall in the evening between Puducherry and Nellore, close to Chennai.

The Meteorological Department has asked the Chennai Port to hoist flag number nine — denoting severe cyclone to cross coast keeping port to its right.

At MAPS, both the reactors are operating safely, according to an official press release.

Kalpakkam being a coastal site all the structures and equipment are designed to withstand wind velocities of 160 km/hr. All the agencies have been given instructions for remedial measures and are on standby alert. Additional personnel have been deployed to keep a vigil on important systems.

Nilam intensifies into severe cyclonic storm

 CHENNAI: Cyclone 'Nilam' on Wednesday intensified into a severe storm with extremely heavy rainfall expected over north coastalTamil Nadu and Puducherry even as the weather department warned of extensive damage to huts, standing crops and power lines.

Fisherfolk on edge

 Last year, floods cut off Nettukuppam from the rest of the land mass

The fisherfolk of Nettukuppam in north Chennai are bracing for another possible cyclone havoc on Wednesday.

They are sure the waves will crash above the boulders placed along the coast and flood their village. “Last year, during cyclone Thane, we had to take shelter in a temple. The boulders that were washed away during the last two cyclones have not been replaced yet,” said T. Joseph a fisherman.

Last year, floodwaters had literally cut off Nettukuppam from the rest of the land mass as it made its way to the river (Ennore creek). The fisherfolk expect a similar scenario this time too.

Kalaivanan, another fisherman, said the Water Resources Department (WRD) has not completed the laying of boulders on the northern side of the village.

Cyclone warning signal hoisted at port

 The Chennai Port Trust on Tuesday hoisted storm warning flag signal number seven and the Ennore Port number six in view of cyclone threat.

The Chennai Port Trust officials said 14 vessels were at berth and 11 waiting at anchorage, in addition to naval and coast guard ships. They would be moved to anchorage.

OSM Arena, a ship under arrest after its owners failed to pay dues to the port, has been berthed in Jawahar Dock 6. It will also be moved to anchorage. Incidentally, this vessel lost one of its anchors on December 30, 2011, when it was hit by cyclone Thane.

Ennore Port has only vessel (MV Tamil Kamaraj) docked in coal berth and the next one is expected to arrive on November 1.

Storm may cross Chennai coast by evening

 The cyclonic storm, ‘Nilam,’ which remained virtually stationary on Tuesday, is bearing down on northern parts of the State and is likely to cross the coast near Chennai by Wednesday evening.

At 8-30 p.m. on Tuesday, it lay centred about 450 km south-southeast of Chennai and 130 km north-northeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka). The system would move north-northwestward, according to a weather bulletin.

Y.E.A.Raj, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, says it is likely to move parallel to the coast, making it difficult for weather specialists to forecast precisely. As regards rainfall, Dr Raj notes that except parts of northern and central districts, about 20 districts did not receive a single cm of rainfall during the 24-hour-period that ended at 8-30 a.m.

However, the maximum of 15 cm was recorded by Kollidam in Nagapattinam, followed by 12 cm in Vedaranyam and 11 cm each in Chidambaram and Sirkali.


Shrinking wharf adds to fisherfolks’ woes

 A.V. Raghunathan


The squally weather has not only affected the livelihood of the fishermen in Cuddalore, as they have abstained from going to the sea for the past three days, but also damaged their boats. All the 210 trawlers, on which the fishermen have invested a fortune, have to be berthed, alongside the motorized boats, in the wharf area near the Cuddalore port.

But as the reconstruction of the wharf is under way, the space at the disposal of the fishermen has greatly shrunk now. And yet, for want of any other mooring place the fishermen would have to necessarily berth all the trawlers within the narrow confines.

S.Elumalai, a fisherman, told The Hindu that now the wharf area was overcrowded with trawlers, with hardly any space for manoeuvrability.

The persisting depression had caused strong winds which, in turn, made the sea turbulent. Hence, the trawlers and the motorized boats were tossing and turning at the mooring point, hitting against each other and also against the wharf platform.

Puducherry, Karaikal bracing for Cyclone Nilam

 Residents have been advised to remain indoors on Wednesday afternoon, when the Cyclone Nilam is expected to achieve landfall.

Since Monday, Puducherry and the surrounding areas have experienced heavy rainfall. Puducherry experienced 59mm of rainfall from 8 a.m. Monday till 8 a.m. on Tuesday. Subsequently, there was a further 32mm rainfall recorded in the area from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

The roads in several low lying areas such as Karuvadikkuppam, Krishna Nagar, Rainbow Nagar, Bahour and Villianur are flooded following the heavy rains. So far, there has been no call for evacuation, but the disaster management teams have readied rescue centres in each area in case of emergencies. On Tuesday morning, a high-level meeting chaired by Local Administration Minister N.G. Pannir Selvam took place to assess the situation. During the meeting, officials were asked to remain prepared with motors and pump sets to clear water logging.