In aftermath of cyclone, clouds hover, clean-up operations begin
The pleasant breeze on Thursday morning was a balm to frayed nerves. The weather held all day, with cloudy skies a watery sun hardly making its presence felt as the city returned to normality.
There was no rainfall recorded and the Meteorological department ruled out more rains for the next four days. The monsoon is expected to revive later, even as the city’s day temperature hovered at 30 degree Celsius.
In the aftermath of Cyclone Nilam which crossed the coast near Mamallapuram on Wednesday evening, roads remained less crowded as schools and colleges remained closed.
Nilam, with a wind speed of around 75km/hour at the time of crossing the coast, weakened into a depression and travelled northwest. It lay centred near Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, on Thursday. It will move further northwest and weaken into a low pressure area by Friday.
Overall, the cyclone brought in good rainfall for the State, except for few districts, including Chennai, which recorded only one cm of rain. However, as the north east monsoon had just begun, Chennai would get more rainfall in the coming month.
Y.E.A. Raj, deputy director general of meteorology, regional meteorological centre, said the prevalence of strong upper-level winds could have sheared the rain clouds, causing poor rainfall. So far, the northeast monsoon has been favourable, with the city receiving of 40 cm of rain, which is 43 per cent more than that received in October last year.
The department has forecast dry weather on Friday and a cloudy sky, with the day temperature around 30 degree Celsius.
Residents watch rescue
Thousands came to the Santhome beach to watch the rescue efforts for oil tanker M.V. Pratibha Cauvery. The tanker ran aground on Wednesday afternoon near Oorur Kuppam in Besant Nagar, and later drifted to Santhome. A. Pandian, who sells snacks on the beach said, “I have been here elling since 6 a.m. this morning and the crowds are coming in droves.” We have been selling something or the other that the crowds will take.”
“We wanted to check if there were any survivors on the ship,” a Coast Guard official explained. The copter came back at around 5.45 p.m. and transported two divers from the ship.
Venu Selvan, a class four student, who had come with his parents, said “We were following the ship’s movement for quite sometime. But after the power cut we didn’t know what happened on Wednesday. This morning when we learnt about the ship’s drifting, we came here,” said his mother S. Usha.
Fishermen north of Kasimedu collected piles of lignite that were washed ashore from a nearby thermal power station. “The waters carried the large chunks towards our villages and we collect them by diving into the waves,” said Muthu, a youngster. The lignite will be sold at Rs. 15 a kilo to foundries.
A release from Chennai Corporation said earth movers would be used to push the sands blown from the Marina, Elliot’s and Santhome beaches from the streets back to the shorefront.