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Cyclone alert as depression intensifies

FLOATING METRO: Slums along the Adyar river lie submerged in the incessant rain in Chennai on Sunday. — Photo: M. Moorthy

FLOATING METRO: Slums along the Adyar river lie submerged in the incessant rain in Chennai on Sunday. — Photo: M. Moorthy  

CHENNAI Nov. 10. As heavy rain continued to disrupt normal life in the State, a cyclone alert was issued today in the north coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry during the next 24 hours. The depression, now lying centred about 250 km east-southeast of Chennai in the Bay of Bengal, has intensified further.

It is likely to move in a west northwesterly direction and cross the North Tamil Nadu - South Andhra Pradesh coast between Cuddalore and Nellore by tomorrow afternoon, according to the area cyclone warning centre.

The rain pounding various parts of the State has already claimed 45 lives, including 17 women and two children.

Most of them died either of electrocution or lightning, Revenue department officials said here. Chennai, was the worst-hit with 71,540 families displaced.

Fire service personnel rescued 70 persons from a marooned locality in Madipakkam here.In Ram Nagar and Murugan Nagar, the flooding rose about four feet high inundating almost all the households.

Schools closed

The Directorate of School Education has declared a holiday tomorrow (Monday) for all government and aided schools, including matriculation schools, in view of the inclement weather.

Isolated to very heavy rain is likely to occur in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Villupuram, Cuddalore, and Nagapattinam districts and Pondicherry during the next 48 hours. As the sea will be rough during this period, fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea. Storm shelters and school buildings in coastal districts are being kept ready to accommodate people from low-lying areas. Government hospitals have been supplied adequate lifesaving drugs.

The Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, will visit the affected areas in the city on Monday afternoon.

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