As Cyclone Nivar packed winds with speed up to 130 kmph rammed the coast between Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, it seemed to have had a devastating effect on the green cover in Chennai.
Nearly 300 trees, including those on arterial roads in the city, were uprooted due to gusty winds that travelled as far as over 100 km from where the very severe cyclonic storm made its landfall in the wee hours of Thursday.
Huge trees located on the Dr Radhakrishnan Salai, close to the Marina Beach, Triplicane, Raja Annamalaipuram, Kodambakkam, Mambalam, and other areas were uprooted due to the wind speed that is estimated to be between 120 to 130 kmph.
In an early morning update, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) said 267 trees fell due to the effect of the cyclone on Wednesday night and that 223 of them have already been cleared. Residents also posted pictures of uprooted trees in their locality on social media requesting GCC to clear them.
Falling of trees is a major concern for the city as it has already lost much of its treasured trees to Cyclone Vardah that hit the Chennai coast in 2016. Hundreds of trees in localities like Kalaignar Karunanidhi Nagar (K K Nagar) were uprooted due to the impact of the cyclone four years back.
As rains subsided in the city, teams from the GCC were out to remove trees and pump the flood water out of major roads and streets across the metropolis. Suburbs, especially Tambaram and surrounding areas in Chengalpattu district, seems to be the worst-hit as several villages were marooned due to heavy rains that pounded the area for two days in a row.
Cyclone Nivar made its landfall as a very severe cyclonic storm near Puducherry coast in the wee hours of Thursday. The centre of the cyclone took three hours to cross the coast, the Indian Meteorological Department said in an update at around 3.30 am.
The terse update said the centre of the cyclone, which travelled at a speed of 16 km per hour, began its landfall at 11.30 pm on Wednesday and completed at 2.30 am on Thursday. After landing, the severe cyclonic storm weakened into a cyclonic storm, the IMD added.