Cyclone Mandous, a severe cyclonic storm, made landfall late Friday night, crossing the coast in Tamil Nadu with a wind speed of 75 km an hour. The cyclone has now weakened into a deep depression.
Here are 10 points on this big story:
- The cyclone began landfall around 11.30 pm on Friday and crossed the coast near Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) in Tamil Nadu around 1.30 am, uprooting hundreds of trees in Chengalpattu and neighbouring Chennai.
- Chennai received upto 115 mm of rain. “Around 200 trees have fallen and we have been clearing them since night,” said Gagandeep Singh Bedi, Commissioner, Greater Chennai Corporation. “A major damage has been averted as we had secured many hoardings early,” he added. The city also witnessed waterlogging. As work clearing fallen trees is underway, Chennai city and Chengalpattu districts are facing power cuts.
- In Kovalam, adjoining Mamallapuram, boats have suffered damages besides shops along the seashore. “The tin roofs of shops have got blown away. Fisheries and revenue officials are examining damages to boats” said Shobana Thangam, President of Kovalam Village Panchayat.
- Ahead of the landfall, 13 domestic and three international flights were cancelled at the Chennai airport due to bad weather. “Passengers are requested to check with concerned airline(s) for further updates,” tweeted Chennai International Airport.
- On the intensity scale, it was earlier classified as ‘Severe Cyclonic Storm’, the fourth highest, meaning winds of 89-117 km per hour. It has since come down to ‘Cyclonic Storm’ with winds at 62-88 km/hour. (The most extreme type is ‘Super Cyclonic Storm’, with winds at 222+ km an hour.)
- Besides stationing National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams in ten districts, the Tamil Nadu government has opened more than 5,000 relief centres. In Chengalpattu district alone 1,058 families have moved to 28 such centres.
- Neighbouring Andhra Pradesh may also be affected. “[The cyclone] would continue to move west-northwestwards and cross north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts between Puducherry and Sriharikota around Mahabalipuram… during midnight of today, the 9th December to early hours of 10th December,” the statement by India Meteorological Department read.
- The cyclone was named by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a member of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). In Arabic, it means “treasure box” and is pronounced as “Man-Dous”.
- It is a slow-moving cyclone and absorbs a lot of moisture. The cyclone gains strength in the form of wind speeds. An official statement by the weather department said the cyclone was “very likely” to maintain its intensity of ‘Severe Cyclonic Storm’ till early morning Friday, “and then weaken gradually”. That happened.
- Cyclones across the world are named by the respective specialised regional meteorological centres and tropical cyclone warning centres. There are six regional centres, including the IMD; and five tropical warning centres.