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Cyclone Thane hits India

(Mizzima) – Cyclone Thane hit the coast of Tamil Nadu on Friday, killing 19 people so far. Twelve deaths were reported in Cuddalore and seven deaths in Puducherry.

Indian bystanders look at a merchant ship after it ran aground due to gusty winds in the wake of severe cyclonic storm Thane at Marina Beach in Chennai on December 30, 2011. A severe cyclone packing winds of up to 140 kilometres (85 miles) an hour tore into India's southeastern coast, killing at least 16 people, a senior official said. Photo: AFP The cyclonic storm is weakening over land, but rains continue in the coastal districts of the state and southern Andhra Pradesh till Saturday evening, NDTV reported.

The system is likely to move westwards and cross north Tamil Nadu coast, close to south of Puducherry, within a few hours and weaken gradually.

As a result very heavy rainfall will continue over northern Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Rayalseema, according to NDTV.

The landfall was near Cuddalore, southeast of Puducherry.

Train services from southern Tamil Nadu were hit as many of them ran late or were stopped in the nearby station while flights to international destinations by private carriers including to Kuwait and Malaysia from Chennai were cancelled.

Cuddalore was the most affected, with damaged roads rendering it difficult for rescue teams including those from National Disaster Response Force and fire and rescue services to reach the cyclone hit fishing hamlets.

District Collector Amuthavalli said over 5000 houses of fishermen had been damaged.

"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.

Cyclone Thane is 'Burmese'

The name of Cyclone Thane, which hit the eastern coast of India on Friday morning, was coined by Burma.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department, cyclones originating in the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal are named by eight countries – India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Myanmar, Oman and Thailand.

The procedure for naming cyclones has been laid down by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The procedure came into effect in 2004.

The names are taken from lists drafted in advance by WMO committees. After a cyclone has passed, its name is retired and new names suggested.

The eight countries have prepared a list of 64 names for cyclones, which are announced by rotation. Going by this cycle, the name of Cyclone Thane, currently moving in the Bay of Bengal, was given by Burma.

Some recent cyclones and the countries which named them:

  • Laila (Pakistan), 2010 Nisha Bangladesh), 2010
  • Phyan (Myanmar), 2009
  • Aila (Maldives), 2009
  • Bijli (India), 2009
  • Rashmi (Sri Lanka), 2008
  • Nargis (Pakistan), 2008

 “Thane” is on everyone's lips the past few days. The very severe cyclonic storm, which is likely to bring heavy rainfall over Chennai, was christened as per the naming convention of the Indian Meteorological Department.

Officials said that the practice of naming tropical cyclones over the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea started in September 2004. The practice helped in easily identifying cyclones. However, it was decided that they would not be named after people. Y. E. A. Raj, the deputy director of the meteorology department in Chennai, said of the 64 names on the list, 28 have been used for unique identification for forecasts.

The names suggested must be short and should not have any provocative meaning, he said. The next cyclonic storm would be named “Murjaan,” as suggested by Oman.

Weather Bulletin No. BOB 05/2011/36

Dated: 30.12. 2011 Time of issue:1900 hours IST

Sub : Depression over north Tamilnadu.

The deep depression moved west- southwestward weakened into a depression and lay centered at 1730 hrs IST of today, the 30th December 2011 over north Tamilnadu close to Salem. The system is likely to move westwards and weaken further into a low pressure area during next 12 hours.

Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places would occur over north Tamil Nadu during next 12 hours. Rainfall at many places with isolated heavy rainfall may occur over Rayalaseema during next 12 hours and over north Kerala and coastal and south interior Karnataka during next 24 hours.

The next bulletin will be issued at 0830 hrs IST of tomorrow, the 311st December, 2011.
Last Updated ( Friday, 30 December 2011 22:04 )  

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