Nilam kills 17, wreaks havoc in TN, AP

1,27,000 ha of Samba crop inundated

Many parts of north and north-western Tamil Nadu took the brunt of nature’s fury in the wake of the tropical cyclone ‘Nilam’ that crossed the State’s coast near Mamallapuram Wednesday evening, even as the toll in the cyclone-related deaths climbed to 13 on Thursday.

While the cyclonic system in the last few days pounded Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Ariyalur, Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore, Salem, Dharmapuri and parts of Tiruvallur and Chennai districts, more than half the deaths due to wall collapses, crashing of trees and lightning strikes were from Vellore and Tiruvannamalai districts, official sources said.

The cyclone had its humanitarian fallout as well. In a village near Periyapalayam in Tiruvallur district, parents of a five-year-old girl child, Yogalakshmi, who was instantly crushed to death as a tree crashed down on their house, donated her eyes to the District Government Hospital.

The high-velocity winds knocked down hundreds of trees as ‘Nilam’ moved north-westwards on Thursday towards Rayalaseema region in Andhra Pradesh. In Kancheepuram district, over 1100 electric poles crashed and several transformers were damaged, straining the power distribution, sources said.

It was a tale of woe for paddy-growing farmers, particularly in Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur districts, in the tail-end areas of Cauvery delta, with the incessant rains flooding 1,27,000 hectares of ‘Samba’ (long-term) paddy crop.

The Met office here said ‘Nilam’, which had already weakened into a depression as it moved over to Rayalaseema and south interior Karnataka, will weaken further into a low pressure area during next 12 hours.

4 die in AP       

Normal life was affected in all the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh and four persons were killed on Thursday - three due to electrocution and another person in a wall collapse - in Prakasam, Nellore and Anantapur districts. Standing paddy, banana and other crops were damaged and normal life thrown out of gear.

Cyclone ‘Nilam’ brought torrential rains to several parts of Kerala, leaving low-lying areas in the state capital and Kochi flooded since Wednesday evening.

Both road and rail traffic was affected in Thiruvananthapuram. Power and water supply was hit in many parts of the city. Officials declared a holiday for schools. The downpour has partially disrupted vehicular transport in the commercial hub of Kochi as well.

Weathermen here said that the rains will continue for the next 48 hours. Fishermen have been warned against venturing into the sea for the next two days.

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