Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cyclone Nilam

Here is a highly local one. Cyclone Nilam is approaching Chennai rapidly. It's been raining since morning. The streets are full of water, although our local drainage has held up so far, no waterlogging, merely the usual potholes full of water. However, the eye of the storm passes us only tomorrow evening, so who knows what the situation will be tomorrow.  If past experience is any guide, there was the year we were marooned on an island, viz. our fourth floor flat, and all the neighbourhood kids had a wonderful time with a boat. There was also the year when two evacuations were necessary thanks to cyclone Nisha (see here). There was another year when the municipal authorities released water from the lake and it overflowed in the streets, so that the main roads became waterways. That was the same year that my first year class phoned to report that they were marooned in their hostel, and could class be cancelled? (They had boats, but paper ones! Judging by the background noise, a great time was being had by all.  They were only nineteen, after all!)        

Here's Nilam. She looks pretty fierce and is approaching pretty fast, 100 kmph,  and will hit us sometime tomorrow evening, as per the met office.  Hopefully, Nilam will wander off into the Bay of Bengal, as other cyclones  have, in the past, and leave us in peace! Watch this space for further updates. Meanwhile, bring out the candles.

This blog post is by Neelima Gupte.

Update: Nilam came and went. It saw landfall at about 5.30 p.m on Wednesday evening. There were very strong winds from 4.00 p.m to 9.30 p.m, when, as it happens, all of us were trying to get home with varying degrees of adventure. TNEB tripped the power supply till morning, at least in our parts. This was inconvenient,  but no one got electrocuted at least. Many idiot thrill seekers stood on the beach, watching an oil tanker run aground, and its life boat, which had 22 people in it, capsize. The fishermen, valiant guardian angels of Chennai's treacherous shores,  managed to rescue quite a few, but six are still missing. The threatened rains did not arrive. Life was normal from this morning. In short, cyclone Nilam was a phuska bar (failed firework). We are truly thankful for this failure!


AmOK said...

Good luck with that. Although global warming is a real thing to worry about labelling hurricanes as a sign may be jumping to conclusions. No you didnt say that but I hear a lot of it around Sandy.

Neelima said...

These cyclones are results of what, you may remember, AIR bulletins called `depressions in the Bay of Bengal'. Unless you live here, you won't know what they do. Andhra and Orissa catch it even worse. However this phenomenon has been around ever since I can remember at least, and at least here, no one mentions global warming in connection with them.