A substantially weakened cyclone Nilam caused four deaths as it struck coastal Tamil Nadu on Wednesday evening.
While the authorities had forecast wind speed reaching 110 kmph, the cyclone made a landfall close to Mahabalipuram around 4.30pm with a maximum speed of 65-75 kmph, sparing large scale destruction.
A crew member of an oil tanker that ran aground off Chennai, died and six others went missing when 22 of the 37-strong crew boarded a lifeboat.
Sixteen of them were rescued and rushed to a hospital, where one sailor was pronounced dead. Three others are said to be in a serious condition.
The Navy, Coast Guard and other agencies are searching for the remaining six crew members of Pratibha Cauvery.
One person died due to a wall collapse in Vilupuram after heavy rain and another was electrocuted in Tamil Nadu's Thiruvannamalai.
In Puducherry, a 46-year-old man drowned after he slipped into the rough sea when he, along with his friends, went to the pier to see the sea conditions.
Atindranath Swain, commissioner, revenue and administration, Tamil Nadu, said, "The impact was less than we had feared."
Rains, fast winds Andhra Pradesh
Heavy rains coupled with strong winds also lashed north coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh even as officials heaved a sigh of relief that the cyclone did not make landfall in their state.
While no casualties were reported, there were reports of damage to mud and thatch houses and huts in Nellore and Prakasam districts.
The administration is not taking chances as storm surge of about 1-1.5 metre over the astronomical tide is likely to inundate the low lying areas Nellore district.
People living in low lying areas of Nellore and Prakasam districts have been asked to shift to higher places.
The district received 24.0 mm average rainfall and Pellakur received all time record of 92.4 mm rainfall.
These two districts as well as Chitoor in Rayalaseema region is experiencing continuous heavy rainfall for the past 24 hours. The temple town of Srikalahasti received 115.5mm rain.
Fishermen have been advised to stay home and warning signals have been hoisted in Machilipatnam, Krishnapatnam, Nizampatnam and Vadarevu ports.
Power and communication lines were disrupted at a few places due to uprooting of trees.
Farmers in these districts are worried that the storm could damage their near ripe paddy crops standing in the fields with barely a month to go for harvest.