Cyclonic storm Thane brought heavy rains to Chennai yesterday morning raising the sea level and tidal waves. The heavy precipitation led to the cancellation of four international flights, including those bound for Kuwait and Kuala Lumpur.
Many residents of Cuddalore and Nagapattinam must have felt a sense of déjà vu from the 2004 tsunami when massive waves crashed into habitations, killing thousands of people. Thankfully the human toll this time was much lower, but residents pointed out that that tragedy too had struck towards end-December.
Thane left at least 34 dead as Thane swept across parts of southern India on Friday, officials said today.
Meanwhile, engineers rushed to restore power supplies and phone connections knocked out by winds of up to 140 km an hour. The worst affected regions lay between Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu and the territory of Pondicherry, officials from the affected regions said.
District administrator V Amuthavalli said the death toll had reached 22 in Cuddalore and added that the toll was likely to rise.
According to officials, around 50,000 thatched huts were damaged by the high winds but a clearer picture of the damage would emerge only today. They added that people had also reported to hospitals with injuries.