Strong tide, waves dislocate groynes along a stretch of Ennore Expressway

Fishing hamlets along Chennai's coastline bore the brunt of gale and intermittent rain on Thursday caused by ‘Thane', the very severe cyclonic storm formed over southwest Bay of Bengal.

The high tide and surging waves resulted in pools of water on the sands of the Marina beach. But, it did not deter people from visiting the beach and they left only after police intervention.

The coastline in other parts of the city also witnessed similar scenes. Strong surface wind and rough sea condition since Wednesday caused damage to huts and boats near the coast.

Strong tide and swell waves dislocated groynes along a stretch of Ennore Expressway near Thanlangkuppam, making the road unusable.

The city received 3 cm of rainfall during the 12 hours ending 8.30 p.m. on Thursday, a majority of which was received in the evening. The observatory in Meenambakkam recorded 2 cm during the same period. In Ennore, the rainfall was 5 cm.

N.Shanmugam, a resident of Ennore, said such rough sea condition is not common during this time of the year. Metropolitan Transport Corporation bus services between Broadway and Ennore reduced the number of trips after the stretch was battered overnight.

Seawater brought in by the swell waves flooded many fishing hamlets till Ennore. L.Velan of Tiruvottiyurkuppam, said: “We have not gone for fishing for the past five days. Nearly 50 huts and a few boats have been damaged. Many people have left their homes fearing inundation. We have arranged for shelter in a temple and a community hall.”

Municipal Administration and Rural Development Minister K.P.Munuswamy, Dairy Development Minister V.Moorthy and Mayor Saidai S.Duraisamy inspected many of the affected areas, including Indira Gandhi Kuppam, Periya Kuppam and Annai Sivagami Nagar and distributed food.

Friday morning

Officials of the Meteorological Department said the city would experience squally wind with a speed of 60-70 km per hour when the cyclonic storm crosses the north Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Chennai on Friday morning close to Puducherry. The city would experience a few spells of rain or thundershower, heavy at times.

With the Meteorological Department forecasting that rainfall at many places, including Chennai, was likely to be heavy, the Chennai Corporation and Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services have taken precautionary measures to tackle any emergency.

The civic body on Thursday began distribution of food packets from community kitchen in Gopalapuram, Chintadripet, Basin Bridge and Perambur Barracks Road. Corporation Commissioner P.W.C.Davidar said that zonal officers have been empowered to use schools and community halls for relief operations of people living in low-level areas.

Chennai Corporation officials held a coordination meeting with the police to chalk out a strategy to tackle emergency. More than 10,000 city police personnel would be deployed to attend to crisis arising due to the cyclone.

The Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services has identified 121 low-lying places here including Kargil Nagar in Tiruvottiyur, Ganeshapuram in Vyasarpadi, Thalangkuppam in Ennore. S. Vijayasekar, Deputy Director, Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services, northern region, said that over 600 firemen from 33 fire stations in Chennai are placed on high alert. “Eighty four fire tenders and four rescue tenders along with firemen have been deployed. Teams equipped with boats, lifejackets and hydraulic equipment to be used in case of building collapse is on standby,” he added.

Helplines

People may also contact the helplines in case of emergency. The helplines of Chennai Corporation are 1913 and 25619237; Kancheepuram district administration - 1077, police control room 9445465536 and 27238001; Tiruvallur district administration - 27661200/ police control room 27661010.

Trains likely to be delayed

Trains running on Chennai Central-Gudur and Chennai Egmore-Villupuram-Cuddalore-Mayiladuthurai routes in both directions are likely to be regulated en route or diverted on Friday, according to a Southern Railway press release.

Southern Railway has opened special information centres at Chennai Central and Egmore stations to keep passengers posted on possible rescheduling of services due to the cyclone. The numbers are 044-25357398 and 25330710 at Chennai Central and 044-28190216 at Egmore.