Cyclone 'Nilam' has intensified into a severe storm with extremely heavy rainfall expected over North coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry even as the weather department warned of extensive damage to huts, standing crops and power lines. According to latest reports, the cyclonic storm has crossed Chennai and made landfall at Mahaballipuram. Four thousand people have been evacuated near Mahabalipuram. However, no major damage has been reported so far. The cyclone is expected to cross between Puducherry and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh close to Chennai this evening.