Four killed as cyclone Mandous hits Tamil Nadu

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A cyclonic storm killed at least four people in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Saturday, the top state official said, as heavy rain and strong winds buffeted several districts damaging property and causing power outages.

Cyclone Mandous, which made landfall late Friday night, damaged 185 houses and huts, Tamil Nadu’s chief minister, MK Stalin, told reporters. The storm uprooted 400 trees in the state capital Chennai, a hub for auto makers and technology firms.

Nearly 25,000 people, including disaster relief personnel, were involved in the relief work, and more than 9,000 people were moved to safety in 201 relief camps, Stalin said.

We are still assessing damages , he told reporters, as he visited some of the affected areas.

Mandous had weakened from an earlier severe category as it swept past Sri Lanka, where schools were closed on Friday due to high air pollution levels from the storm.

It was expected to gradually weaken into a low-pressure area, India’s meteorological department tweeted on Saturday.

Meanwhile, parts of south coast and Raya-laseema regions of Andhra Pradesh received heavy rains on Saturday under the impact of the cyclonic.

Heavy rains lashed Nellore, Tirupati, Chittoor, and Annamayya districts, inundating low-lying areas. Rivulets, streams and lakes were overflowing due to incessant rains since Friday.

Heavy rains hit normal life in the temple town of Tirupati. Roads in the town were inundated. Pilgrims to the famous Tirumala temple faced inconvenience due to incessant rains.

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the affairs of the temple, closed some routes to Tirumala.—AFP