Friday, December 30, 2011

Cuddalore town suffers brunt of ‘Thane’ cyclone

By Shafee Ahmed Ko, for,
Chennai: The woeful cry from the rich and the poor is one and all one can hear now in Cuddalore as severe cyclonic storm named “Thane” crossed the coastal fishing town of Tamil Nadu Friday morning leaving 5 persons dead (official count) and hundreds of homes destroyed.
Five persons reportedly died in Cuddalore in incidents of wall collapse and electrocution while one person died in house collapse in Puducherry.

Having heard the predictions from Chennai Meteorological department, on Thursday this correspondent contacted Mr. Kamaluddin, President of FeMWAS (Federation of Muslim Women Aid Society) in Cuddalore and learnt that the situation was very bad, and Mr. Kamaluddin asked TCN to pray Allah. He was contacted repeatedly from Friday morning but the line was not accessible. Then one Mr. Younus was contacted in Cuddalore to get more information about the devastation.
The town of Cuddalore district, situated near Pondicherry, has a sizeable Muslim population.
Mr. Younus informed that hundreds of poor people have been rendered homeless and are sheltered in camps, schools, and marriage halls. They are served with packets of food from Thursday night. The cyclone could not cause many casualties as the residents had vacated their home after the warning from the government dept.
The cyclone hit Cuddalore and its adjoining districts and caused a land fall between Cuddalore and Pondicherry, the Union Territory, early this morning. The cyclone which crossed Cuddalore with wind speed of 120 km per hour severely damaged the town and the district. The waves rising above 40 ft the sea level and heavy torrential rain water inundated Cuddalore town and suburban areas besides damaging crops worth several crores of rupees. Paddy field and banana groves have been totally uprooted. Several uprooted sturdy trees are now lying across the main roads obstructing traffic with electric lamp posts fallen, speaking of the volume of the destruction. Cuddalore is almost cut off from the district. The torrential rain and the wind are still nonstop, and people are warned not come out.
There are reports of people being electrocuted by fallen live wires, and houses damaged by fallen trees. Most of the trains departing from Chennai to South are either delayed or cancelled. Air traffic from Chennai is also hit.
The impact of the wind has been so severe that one of the cargo ships anchored at deep sea off Chennai bay, is washed ashore to Chennai Marina Beach near “Anna Samadhi”, the Tomb of Annadurai, and the first Chief Minister of DMK party.