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Cyclone Thane makes landfall in Tamil Nadu

Cyclone Thane, packing wind speed of 140 kmph, made landfall on the coast between Cuddalore in Tamil and Puducherry Friday morning, officials of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) here said.

"The cyclone is in the process of crossing between Cuddalore and Puducherry coast. The wind speed is around 140 kmph at Puducherry and Cuddalore. Waves measuring 1.5 metres height are hitting the shoreline," an IMD official told IANS.

At 2 a.m. the cyclone moved closer to about 90 km east of Puducherry, 125 km south-southeast of Chennai, IMD said.

"The storm is more of wind centric and not much of rain. Puducherry recorded 14 cm rain, while Cuddalore 7 cm.," the official said, adding the weather will remain gloomy.

Rainfall with heavy to very heavy falls was expected at a few places in north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The IMD has also predicted rainfall over south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalseema.

In Puducherry, as a matter of precaution, power has been switched off since 11 p.m. Thursday night.

"We don't know what is happening in the outside world. All that we have been hearing since last night is the howling of the wind. Several trees have fallen down. Even mobile phone signals are not proper," S. Ravikumar, a Puducherry resident, told IANS.

Chennai and Cuddalore have witnessed heavy wind and rain since Thursday night. In some places tress have been uprooted disrupting power lines and traffic.

The sea has been rough and has inundated some residential areas along the East Coast Road connecting Chennai and Puducherry and people have been shifted to safer place.

Traffic on the East Coast Road has been disrupted due to uprooted trees.

The Tamil Nadu government has set up 20 teams to monitor the water levels in lakes and other water bodies in Chennai, Thiruvallur and other places.

Eight teams of the National Disaster Management Force have been sent to the coastal districts.

The railways has announced around two hour delay in the arrival of some trains to Chennai Egmore station.

Fishermen along northern Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts were advised not to venture into the sea till Saturday afternoon.

Tamil Nadu ports were in a state of high alert with Chennai and Ennore ports asking the ships to move out to safe distance.

The public works department of the Tamil Nadu government has advised people living in low lying areas close to Red Hills, Chembarambakkam and Poondi reservoirs to move to safer places as surplus water will be released depending on the rain intensity.

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