Chennai: Very severe cyclonic storm Nivar made landfall near Puducherry in the early hours of Thursday, India Meteorological Department said while heavy rains pounded Tamil Nadu and the union territory leading to inundation and uprooting of trees.
Nivar weakened into a severe cyclonic storm after it crossed coast near Puducherry, the IMD said.
According to latest reports, the storm caused at least five deaths in and around Chennai from trees falling, drowning and electrocution.
As per updated meteorological data, Puducherry received the highest rainfall of 30 cm, followed by Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu with 27 cm. Nagapattinam recorded 6.3 cm rainfall, Karaikal 9.6 cm and Chennai 11.3 cm.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted, "We are closely monitoring the situation in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the wake of Cyclone Nivar. Have spoken to CM Shri @EPSTamilNadu and CM Shri @VNarayanasami and assured all possible help from the centre. NDRF teams already on ground to help people in need."
Power supply, which was disconnected in most coastal regions was in the process of restoration and water logging being drained out, authorities said.
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said there were no reports of loss of lives adding whether boats and nets were damaged or not would be known only later.
Only a few rain related incidents like wall collapse were reported, Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister R B Udhayakumar said.
Earlier, the IMD had said Nivar would cross coast near Puducherry with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph, gusting up to 145 kmph. The landfall of Nivar began late on Wednesday night.
"Very severe cyclonic Storm NIVAR: Center lies over Land. Crossed coast near Puducherry during 2330 of 25th Nov- 0230 IST of 26th Nov," the IMD said in a tweet.
"Very severe cyclonic Storm NIVAR: weakens into a Severe Cyclonic storm," it said in another tweet.
Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Chennai, S Balachandran said rainfall is likely to continue in Tamil Nadu and the storm now lay inside the land area and it would further weaken.
Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam inspected the inundated areas here while Udhayakumar said there were no reports of loss of life or crop damage.
"There is no loss of lives due to the rains. People have given us full cooperation," he said. Incidents of wall collapse were reported from a few places, he said.
"It's a solace that nothing untoward happened and the weakening of the cyclone is good news," he said.
The minister said about 2.5 lakh people were housed in cyclone shelters in Tamil Nadu as part of safety measures.
According to the inputs received so far, crops and groves are safe in the state, Udhayakumar told reporters.
However, the situation would be reviewed and based on its outcome, insurance payout and compensation to farmers, if any, would be announced by Chief Minister K Palaniswami, he said.
Meanwhile, revenue, civic and police authorities were on their toes coordinating and removing uprooted trees using heavy-duty motor equipment and backhoe loaders.
According to estimates, over 1,000 trees were uprooted in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
The approach roads to the Marina beach, off the arterial Kamaraj Salai, were flooded and sheets of water reached close to the main road where the city's fishermen had securely tied up their boats.
As rains lashed Mamallapuram near here, troops of monkeys sought refuge under the decorative, cave-like arches, dotted with images of deities carved in stone at the ancient Sri Sthalasayana Perumal temple.