Houses and roads safe; people, government heave a sigh of relief
After intensifying into a severe cyclonic storm, Nilam picked up speed in its movement towards the coast and made the landfall near Chennai on Wednesday evening, wreaking havoc in Tamil Nadu but sparing South Coastal Andhra of heavy damage. No casualty or damage to assets has been reported from any of the five districts — Chittoor, Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur and Krishna that came under its impact. Before and at the time of Nilam crossing the coast, torrential rains lashed several places in Chittoor and Nellore districts as sea-borne gusty winds blew along and off the coast at 70-80 kmph. Srikalahasti recorded a heavy fall of 11 cm, Tirumala 8 cm, Venkatagiri, Guntur each 6 cm, Satyavedu, Sriharikota and Gudur 5 cm each.
Although the rain-wind fury flattened standing kharif crop in parts of Nellore and Chittoor areas, besides vast stretches covered by cotton in Guntur and Prakasam districts, people and the government were greatly relieved as no big damage was caused to houses, public roads and irrigation tanks.
Fearing the worst, the government had geared up the disaster management system, keeping men and material ready to commence evacuation from low-lying and vulnerable coastal villages if necessary. Notwithstanding the crossing at Mahabalipuram near Chennai, tides of the sea rose to a height of 3 to 5 metres even at far-off places such as Vodalarevu in East Godavari district and Mogalthur and Narsapur in West Godavari.
Waves surged onto the land at Suryalanka beach near Chirala, causing erosion and incursion.
Keywords: cyclone Nilam