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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tropical Cyclone Laila slams into Indian coast; weakens

Tropical Cyclone Laila slammed into India's eastern coast with sustained winds of 111 km/hr (69 MPH) near midnight local time Friday morning. Laila made landfall with heavy rain and strong winds killing many people and causing significant flooding.

Tropical Cyclone Laila Lashes India’s East Coast, Killing 22 (BusinessWeek)
Tropical cyclone Laila hit India’s east coast, lashing the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh with heavy rain and claiming at least 22 lives.

The cyclone, which has sustained winds of 111 kilometers (69 miles) per hour, made landfall about 100 kilometers south of the city of Vijayawada at 11:30 p.m. local time yesterday, the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center said.

At least 16 people died in Andhra Pradesh, The Times of India reported, including people washed away in floods or crushed as walls collapsed. About 45,000 people were evacuated to relief camps as rail and road services were disrupted, the report said. The Times reported yesterday six people died in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu.

The heaviest rain was experienced along the coast. Rainfall rates as high as 2 inches per hour fell in some towns and cities.

Cyclone hit areas received an average of 2 inches rainfall per hour (The Hindu)
Coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh which bore the brunt of cyclone Laila received an average of about two inches of rainfall per hour, according to data collected by a NASA satellite.

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite which flew over the cyclone yesterday showed that the heaviest rainfall was received just south-east of the centre of circulation and along the coast.

The centre of the storm was close to the town of Bapatla, one of the historical towns and mandals of Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh located 40 miles south of Guntur city, the TRMM images showed.

It also recorded that the maximum sustained winds in the region was about 50 knots, or 57 miles per hour at 5 a.m.

The storm was moving towards the north northwest which would bring it directly over some very mountainous terrain. The rough terrain caused Laila to weaken to a tropical depression earlier today. Rain is continuing in some coastal and interior parts of the state of Orissa.

Cyclone Laila weakens into depression; triggers widespread rainfall in Orissa (Orissa Diary)
Cyclone Laila, which has now turned into a low pressure, triggered widespread rainfall for the second consecutive day on Saturday thereby disrupting normal life in many places in the state.

Coastal and interior parts of the state will experience rainfall in the next 48 hours, the regional meteorological department said.

Cyclonic storm Laila weakened into a depression at 11.30 AM on Friday and then moved north-northeastwards and further weakened into a well-marked low pressure area over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and adjoining Telengana at 5.30 PM.

However, rain and powerful winds triggered by Laila lashed the Odisha coast on Friday. The state has been lashed by rains since Thursday evening.
Video: Life after cyclone Laila (NDTV)

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