Evacuation as cyclone strikes India's southeast

Thousands of people evacuated from their homes in southeast India Wednesday as a cyclone slammed into the coast, killing two people, according to reports, and causing an oil tanker to run aground.

Cyclone Nilam struck the historic port of Mahabalipuram, 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Chennai, and is forecast to cross the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh overnight.

The Press Trust of India (PTI) reported that strong winds forced an oil tanker to run aground off the Chennai coast Wednesday afternoon, and said one of the ship's 37 crew members drowned when the lifeboat carrying him capsized.

Rescuers searched frantically for six remaining crew members reported missing in the accident.

Officials in Tamil Nadu state evacuated thousands of people living close to the coast earlier in the day.

"More than 5,000 evacuations have been completed," Jayraman, a disaster management official in Chennai, who only uses one name, told AFP.

The latest bulletin from the India Meteorological Department predicted that winds gusting up to 85 kilometres (49 miles) an hour would trigger heavy rain along India's southeastern coast before the cyclone weakened overnight.

In the former French colony of Pondicherry, a 46-year-old man drowned when he was swept into the turbulent sea while walking along the coast, PTI reported.

The Tamil Nadu government ordered fishermen not to go out to sea until the cyclone weakened.

"We have advised all the schools and colleges to remain closed for the day," Jayraman told AFP.

"All maritime activities have been suspended and the government is monitoring the situation closely."

The cyclone did not make landfall in Chennai, the state capital of Tamil Nadu and home to five million people, before heading inland, he added.

An earlier government bulletin had said the cyclone would likely cause flooding of low-lying areas, extensive damage to thatched roofs and huts and also uproot large trees, leading to power blackouts and communication problems.

Local authorities said they were preparing helicopters and boats for any emergency. Existing cyclone shelters, schools and community halls have also been identified to serve as potential relief camps.

Many shops, government offices and private companies closed early to allow people to travel home before the cyclone struck.

Neighbouring Sri Lanka on Tuesday allowed thousands of people who had been evacuated to return to their homes after the storm, which had been expected to hit the island, changed course and moved towards India.

The last cyclone in India struck in the same southeast region in January, claiming 42 lives and leaving a trail of destruction across Tamil Nadu.

India and Bangladesh are hit regularly by cyclones that develop in the Bay of Bengal between April and November, causing widespread damage to homes, livestock and crops.

Andhra Pradesh saw its worst cyclone in 1977 when more than 10,000 people were killed.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Nonviolent disciplining of kids pushed

    Child rights advocates called on senators to pass and strongly endorse a law that will institutionalize positive and nonviolent methods of disciplining children.The Child Rights Network (CRN), Plan International Philippines (PIP), Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLPCD), and Lihok Pilipinas Foundation led the call for the enactment of the Positive Discipline Bill.Several Quezon City Council members led by Majority Floor Leader Jesus Manuel Suntay, Victor Ferrer …

  • Method to their madness

    [caption id="attachment_256768" align="alignright" width="212"] Illustration by Rod Cañalita[/caption] EMMANUEL PORTUGAL Country Manager for the Philippines, VMware I look after the garden. I’d like to think that I have a green thumb—no plants have died so far! The ones I like now that I planted a few months ago is the Blue Iris. Like the town in the movie, my Blue Iris shows up in the morning and only appears for one day. …

  • JGFP Summer Tour on today

    The summer tour for local junior golfers kicks off with the holding of the ICTSI-JGFP Baguio Junior Open today and tomorrow at the treacherous Baguio Country Club course in Baguio.Sixty players aged 6 to 17 years old are entered in the 36-hole tourney serving as the opening leg of the summer circuit organized by the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines with the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. Foundation as main sponsor. ... …

  • PH now market ready to absorb infra bonds

    The Philippine market is now ready to absorb infrastructure bonds that will be issued by private companies amid a growing pipeline of infra-related projects under the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. President Benigno Aquino III last week said the government is still committed to spend more on the country’s infrastructure, with 16 PPP projects currently on the pipeline and nine that have already been awarded. Over the years, some of the country’s biggest infrastructure …

  • Filipinos are saving more – BSP survey

    More Filipinos have the extra cash to save for that proverbial rainy day, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Philippines (BSP). Based on a quarterly survey on consumer confidence, domestic households with savings have the means to increase family reserves and to bring up the amount to historical highs. The central bank said improved family income, a generally positive outlook on the economy, inflation and foreign exchange rates encouraged saving behavior during the first three months of 2015. …

  • AXA Philippines growing alongside its parent firm

    Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp. is growing side by side with its parent firm, global insurance firm AXA, after posting significant growth in its total premium income amid an increasing market share in the country. A statement showed that in the Philippines, multi-billion firm AXA Group saw P18.35 billion in total premium income. The local entity of AXA, AXA Philippines is a joint venture between AXA Group and the Metrobank Group. In 2014, it saw an increase in market share to 11.6 …

  • End to traffic jam in sight? Japan to lend P4B to PHL for road projects

    The Japanese government will be providing some P4 billion to the Philippines for road projects aimed at decongesting monstrous jams in Metro Manila.Noriaki Niwa, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said the loan will cover major interchanges to address traffic congestion in Metro Manila, including flyovers, and road links.Among them are the interchanges on EDSA-Roosevelt/Congressional, EDSA-West/North, and C-5-Green Meadows and North/Mindanao Avenue. ... …

  • US won’t provide flexibility for countries interested in TPP

    Washington D.C.—The US government will not provide any flexibility for potential member countries, like the Philippines, in their bid to become part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a senior official said. Economic and Business Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary William E. Craft, Jr., said all restrictions stated under the TPP trade deal will be maintained and have to be met by the current and future member countries. Earlier, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that the …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options