When news happens, text your photos and videos to 07747488605. Or contact us by email or phone.
Tropical storm hits India
2:19pm Thursday 1st November 2012 in World news
A tropical storm has slammed into southern India, bringing heavy rain and a storm surge that could flood low-lying areas and displace more than 100,000 people.
Just before the storm made landfall on Wednesday, an oil tanker with 37 crew ran aground off Chennai.
One of its lifeboats capsized in the choppy waters and one crew member drowned, the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency reported. Coastguard officers were searching for the lifeboat’s six other occupants.
PTI reported one other death in India, a 46-year old man who slipped into the rough sea from a pier and drowned. Sri Lanka reported two deaths earlier from the cyclone.
The storm from the Bay of Bengal had maximum winds of 45mph while a storm surge of up to five feet was expected to flood low-lying coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh states, the India Meteorological Department said.
Heavy to very heavy rain was forecast for Thursday and fishermen were advised to stay onshore.
State authorities turned 282 schools into relief centres in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu. The city’s port halted cargo operations, officials said. Twenty-three ships were moved to safer areas.
About 150,000 people were moved to shelters in Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh state, district official B. Sridhar said.
In Sri Lanka, thousands have been displaced due to heavy rain and strong winds.
The nation’s Disaster Management Centre said 4,627 people were displaced by flooding and 56 fled because of a landslide threat in the island’s central region.
One woman died on Tuesday after a tree branch fell on her while another person was killed in flooding, the agency said. Floods also damaged about 1,000 houses, it said.