Cyclone Neelam @ Chennai – A view from my house


As you might be aware, Cyclone Neelam hit Chennai (Tamil Nadu, India) today and crossed the shore near Mahabalipuram at around 4:30 PM today. I have taken a small video from the terrace of my house which I have embedded above. As you can see, the wind speeds were quite high. Fortunately, the amount of rain was not very high.

People in Chennai might be aware that a lot of cyclones have been predicted to cross the coast near Chennai, but it will eventually travel up and hit Nellore or Vizag in AP! But this time, the Cyclone Neelam chose to cross the coast in Chennai itself and the maximum impact was felt in the Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts.

The wind speeds were reported to reach around 100 KM/hour and many trees were reported to have fallen down on main roads causing heavy traffic jams in the city. Will those trees ever grow once again in that area? It seems some 3500 people were evacuated from the Mahabalipuram area and the waves rose up to 5 feet high.

I was thinking about when was the last time I remember a cyclone hitting the city. I am taken back to my school days! I remember we had to vacate our ground-floor house for a day (back then) and we stayed in our uncle’s house. Is it my (bad) memory or has the city not got hit by cyclones recently? Someone from Chennai can answer that.

I know this is not close to Cyclone Sandy or anything like that, but the worst to hit the city (and many parts of SE Asia) was the Tsunami. That was devastating.

Have you experienced any major cyclones/hurricanes in your area? What was the impact like? For people in Chennai, what was your experience with cyclone Neelam/Nilam?

Destination Infinity

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30 thoughts on “Cyclone Neelam @ Chennai – A view from my house

  1. Nothing serious happens in my place(Andhra), but we do see occasional floods.

    I have a friend in Vizag and they are expecting the cyclone to hit the town soon.

    Stay safe! The loss of trees is irreplaceable.

    1. The problem with trees in urban areas is, they are already getting cut at an alarming rate and these cyclones destroy even more. We seriously need an urban greenery initiative. I like how people of Bangalore keep their city (relatively) green. Other cities should learn from them.

      Destination Infinity

    1. Maybe it was dangerous near the coast. But the newspapers showed people enjoying on the beach too!! But, when I went to take that video clip, it was quite difficult to balance.

      Destination Infinity

  2. Many think branches of our teak tree flew away and the tip of the tree is broken. Now, motte tree! The whole back and front yards are full of leaves. Power was not there yesterday since 11 in the morning and came back at 11.30 at night. Our inverter also went dead at 9 and we had candle light dinner! My son saw the sand storm at the Elliots beach the the huge ship which got struck in the sand. People are going to the beach today to have a look at it. We are also going in the evening!

    The video is clear.

    1. Ditto with the power-cut. I forgot to mention about it in my article.

      I don’t think I will be able to go and see it. Looks like that ship has become a major tourist attraction!! 🙂 Maami, why don’t you put up some pictures/video in your blog? It will be useful for many of us who can’t go there…

      Destination Infinity

  3. Nature’s fury! Thankfully, it is not so serious in terms of damages etc.
    No such cyclones/hurricanes in our desert state of Rajasthan but then we face frequent sand storms in summers which are a big nuisance! It’s tough to remove fine layers of sand/dust from every nook and corner and every thing of the house. And some people get respiratory problems and asthma attacks!

    1. Oh, sand storms should be difficult! I guess the visibility should also be low during such times. Yes, the dust. I hope they don’t occur frequently?

      Destination Infinity

    1. Yes. Power cut was a precautionary measure. But I guess it was more due to the current power scarcity faced by the state!!

      Destination Infinity

  4. The ship has moved a bit away, it seems. My son is enquiring and if it is still there, I am planning to go there and visit and definitely post pictures.

    The starting words in my above comment looks funny! I must have been in a hurry. Sorry.

  5. This is first time for me to experience a cyclone… gladly it doesn’t cause much damage to lives and things, but the trees… today I went to marina beach to check the cyclone effect and saw the cargo ship that goes aground and the inner road were flood of sea waters.

    1. So, the cargo ship is in Marina beach now? As you say in your blog post, more than 100 trees have fallen! It’s high time we start planting more trees in our city.

      Destination Infinity

    1. Yes, people in Ambattur and most of Chennai should have been fine had they stayed inside their house. People in the areas near beach(es) might have found it more difficult…

      Destination Infinity

    1. Fortunately it was not so destructive. The video showed only a few scenes where the wind effect was maximum! 🙂

      Destination Infinity

  6. Wow. What a wind! The trees are swinging like hell!

    We did have an experience in 2000. We did not have a cyclone, but in the third week of August, it was raining non-stop for tow days. In the night, the rain was pouring continuously, like sheets, for hours and hours,and the the rhythm was very ominous. We locked ourselves in , and went to bed. Suddenly at We heard the dog howling in a different tone. There was no power. As my husband went to inspect the dog, he was surprised to see water inundating our front porch steps. The dog was sitting on the first step near the entrance door and alerting us. It was pitch dark, it was still pouring , and our compound was flooding!!!. We called all our colony people, everyone said, yes, it is flooding, roads are flowing with furious water and houses are getting flooded.!

    Our front yard neighbors had so many kids, they were screaming and saying that water has entered their house , rescue us!! We could not reach. Our next door neighbour’s new car has already floated down the drain and was trying to cross the sea of water! Luckily the front neighbours somehow swam in water and reached the mottamaadi, and were safe. We were planning seriously to shift our valuables to top floor, and station ourselves .
    By god’s grace the rain stopped around 5 a.m. and by morning water went down, but we could see computers , and furniture floating around near our house. There was extensive damage in Hyderabad.! Horrible experience it was!.

    1. OMG. If torrential rains could be so destructive, just imagine what would have happened if it had been accompanied by floods! I wonder what people who did not have a terrace would have done in such a situation. Thankfully, we have not experienced extreme situations like that in Chennai except the Tsunami which was devastating.

      Destination Infinity

  7. That’s really windy. I have not experienced so far. Recently (a few months back), there were tremors felt in SG and honestly, I was scared – scared for safety of dear ones and unfulfilled dreams 🙂

    1. I think during the same time (approx), we could feel slight tremors too, here in Chennai. I guess it would have been more intense in SG, as it was near to the epicenter.

      Destination Infinity

  8. i have witnessed 1 while i was in Chennai in 2007 .. it wasn’t too windy but the amount of rain that poured suffocated the routine life of entire city .. !

    never experienced any stormy tempest in my native place Chandigarh !

    apologies for the late comment .. still a lot of catching up i need to do to read the other posts as well .. slowly but steadily i’ll be there 😀

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