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Cyclone Nilam hits Tamil Nadu coast with strong winds

Chennai(IANS): Cyclone Nilam crossed the Tamil Nadu coast north of Chennai Wednesday evening between Mamallapuram and Kalpakkam with strong winds battering the area, said an official of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Speaking to IANS, the official said: “The cyclone started crossing the coast around 4.45 p.m. and it would take around one or two hours to cross the coast.”

According to him, the wind speed was currently at 65 kmph and would touch around 100-110 kmph.

Strong winds earlier made the ship Pratibha Cauvery run aground here.Mamallapuram, a seventh century port city located near here, is a popular tourist destination for its sculptures and is classified as a Unesco world heritage site.

On the other hand, neighbouring Kalpakkam is known as nuclear island with a couple of test reactors of India Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research and two units of Madras Atomic Power Station.

India’s own 500 MW fast breeder reactor is also being set up at Kalpakkam at an outlay of Rs.5,677 crore.

According to a state government official, around 3,900 people in Mamallapuram have been lodged in 19 relief camps.

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