Tropical Cyclone Thane moved onshore over southeast India on Thursday claiming more than 40 lives. The storm made landfall near Cuddalore and had sustained winds near 70 mph with gusts to 90 mph during landfall. Thane was a strong tropical storm at landfall. Severe floodings with five to 10 inches of rain were reported. Heavy rain and wind gusts up to 140 kmh hit the coast between Cuddalore, about 170 km from Chennai on the east coast, and Puducherry. Heavy rain continued to fall across the region, with additional rainfall amounts approaching 3 inches. After the landfall, Thane moved further westward and weakened into a deep depression, the regional weather office in Chennai said. Drier weather will prevail across the region this week as a ridge of high pressure builds over India.
Tropical cyclone BenildeNew tropical storm is forming. Tropical Storm Benilde formed over the southern Indian Ocean on December 28, 2011. On December 30, the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported that Benilde, now a cyclone, was located roughly 54o nm (nearly 1000 kilometers) southeast of Diego Garcia. Benilde had maximum sustained winds of 50 knots (95 kilometers per hour) with gusts up to 65 knots (120 kilometers per hour).
Benilde sports both a distinct eye and spiral shape characteristic of strong storms. The JTWC forecast that Benilde would continue moving toward the west and southwest, over the open ocean, in the next few days.
Featured image - People walk past fallen sign boards and other trash caused by heavy winds in Pondicherry. (Credit: Aijaz Rahi/AP)