The cyclonic storm ‘Nisha’ crossed the south Tamil Nadu coast near Karaikal, an enclave of the Union Territory of Puducherry, early Thursday, battering the coastal districts with heavy rain pushing up the death toll to 51.
Along the Karaikal coast, 10-metre tall sea waves thumped the shores. Nagapattinam district bore the brunt of the storm. As many as 87,000 people have been displaced in the district and were being put up in 241 camps, officials said. Around 1,380 revenue villages have been hit by the storm and rain, affecting in all about 1.35 lakh people.
In the Cauvery delta districts of Thanjavur and Cuddalore floodwater has inundated paddies. The Thanjavur administration sought the assistance of the National Security Guards to help those stranded.
In Chennai and neighbouring Kancheepuram districts, rain continued for the third day on Thursday. Many parts were under knee-deep water, throwing traffic out of gear. Floodwater also entered hundreds of homes in low-lying areas.
Chief Minister M Karunanidhi presided over a Cabinet meeting to take stock of the situation and the government sanctioned Rs 100 crore for relief work. Ministers and top officials have been asked to oversee relief work in the districts. An ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh was announced for the family of those killed.
The cyclone was expected to weaken gradually after making landfall and move in the north-westerly direction, the Regional Meteorological office here said.