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Cyclone 'Thane' likely to intensify in the next 12 hours

If you don't have any pressing engagement for the day, you'd best stay at home. For, the weatherman has predicted that severe cyclonic storm Thane is heading right at us. Thane is likely to bring with it strong winds, very heavy rainfall and a high surge of waves.

A Met bulletin said cyclone Thane, situated about 450 km east-south-east of Chennai, is likely to intensify further in the next 12 hours and move in a westerly direction. It is likely to cross the northern Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Chennai near Puducherry Friday morning.

While heavy rains are expected at many places along coastal Tamil Nadu and a few interior parts, the intensity would increase with heavy to very heavy precipitation from Thursday evening.

Squally winds reaching up to 50 to 60 kmph are likely to commence along the coastal districts from Thursday. Gale force wind with a speed of 100 to 110 kmph, gusting to even 125 kmph speed at times, would prevail along northern Tamil Nadu and Puducherry at the time of landfall.

Tidal waves with heights of 1.1 metres would inundate low lying areas of Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Cuddalore, Villupuram and Nagapattinam districts and Puducherry at the time the storm crosses the coast.

As a precursor, swell waves were reported in many places along the Chennai coastline. Ingress of water was noticed in the Pattinapakkam area where, local fishermen said, huge waves almost reached the service road. The water receded but it left behind a pool. Reports of a likely landfall has made fishermen living along the coast anxious.

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