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Cyclone Nivar: Landfall triggers torrential downpours

Cyclone Nivar has killed three people and injured three more after making landfall in southern India, where torrential rainfall lashed coastal areas of Tamil Nadu.

Officials said it reached wind speed of more than 120km/h (75mph), but then weakened into a severe cyclonic storm.

They said all essential services have now been restored.

Tens of thousands of people from low lying areas had been evacuated ahead of its landfall.

Heavy wind had already felled trees and strong rains flooded parts of Tamil Nadu and the capital, Chennai.

Officials said more than 100 huts were damaged, and 380 fallen trees had fallen, which have now been removed.

Initially classified as a "very severe cyclonic storm", Nivar weakened into a "severe cyclonic storm" after it made landfall, the India Meteorological Department said.

It is forecast to further weaken as it moves north, it added.

Dozens of trains and flights from Chennai have been cancelled and thousands of disaster management personnel have been deployed in the region. All fishing boats had been advised to return to port.

Tamil Nadu minister RB Udhayakumar said late on Wednesday that around 175,000 people were moved to shelters.

Wednesday and Thursday were declared public holidays with everything shut except emergency services.

Ahead of landfall, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he had spoken with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy, assuring him of all "possible support" from the federal government.

In 2015, widespread flooding in Chennai due to heavy rains and overflowing rivers brought the city to a standstill.

Source: BBC

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