Close encounter with Cyclone Thane

To some in interior south India, Cyclone Thane was just another cold, wet day to grumble about. Or perhaps even enjoy as they huddled over a hot beverage. But on the east coast of India, cyclone Thane's fury was at its peak early on the morning of Friday, December 30. The cyclone made landfall between Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry on India's eastern coastline. Winds, at speeds of 140 kph, tore avenue trees off the ground, hurled dustbins afar, snapped coconut palms like matchsticks, ripped windows out of their hinges, and tossed catamarans and fishing boats ashore. Gigantic, furious waves washed up great boulders onto the esplanade and raging winds smashed the doors of the French Consulate with debris. Power and cellular networks were disrupted amid fears of water shortage. Sahastrarashmi, running on erratic broadband on his last minutes of electricity, sent these unsettling pictures from Puducherry.

Cyclone Thane lashes Puducherry

At 9 AM on Friday, December 30, Cyclone Thane made landfall between Cuddalore and Puducherry on India's south-eastern sea coast. Winds with speeds of 140 kilometers per hour caused immense destruction though no loss of life has yet been reported. Sahastrarashmi, a resident of Puducherry who works with an IT company in Chennai and writes for the nature blog The Green Ogre, stepped out into the streets early this morning and reported that just walking against the powerful winds required a huge effort. Just hours later, the streets were strewn with debris,  trees had fallen, and boats had washed up several hundred meters into the town's main streets. These pictures were taken with great presence of mind and shared exclusively with Yahoo! India over a dodgy broadband connection even as power supply from his UPS was rapidly trickling.

If you are anywhere between Puducherry and Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, please travel cautiously. If you have your own encounters with Cyclone Thane to report, please send them along with pictures to travelindiasubmissions@yahoo.in

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