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November 8, 2012 - Tropical Cyclone Nilam (02B) over India
Tropical Cyclone Nilam (02B) over India Image used for Spacing Purposes
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 10/31/2012
Resolutions: 1km (948.9 KB)
500m (2.9 MB)
250m (7.1 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Credit: Jeff Schmaltz
MODIS Land Rapid Response Team,

Tropical Storm Nilam made landfall on the Tamil Nadu coast in southern India in the afternoon of October 31, carrying maximum wind speeds of about 50 – 56 mph (80-90 km/h) with gusts over 60 mph (near 100 km/h).

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of the storm at 0805 UTC (1:35 p.m. India Standard Time). At this time the center of the storm appears to be very near the coastline of India, with storm bands reaching across the country and far to the north. Sri Lanka, to the southeast, was also shrouded in rain-carrying clouds at that time.

Shortly after making land fall, Nilam began to elongate and weaken as it tracked northwestward over India. By November 1, Nilam had weakened to a depression and by the next day the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JWTC) issued its final warning on the system.

Despite rapid weakening, damage was extensive. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) reported that up to 25 cm (10 inches) of rain had fallen over much of Tamil Nadu in 24 hours. A storm surge of 1-1.5 meters (3.2-5 feet) higher than astronomical high tide was reported, causing extensive coastal flooding in southern India. The state of Andhra Pradesh alone reported flooding affecting 5,250 square kilometers (2,000 square miles) of agricultural land.

In Sri Lanka, about 4,000 people were dislocated by flooding caused by Nilam, and possibly 10 people died. Flooding in southern India has killed at least 49 people and displaced tens of thousands from their homes. Total damages have been estimated at over 56 million dollars.

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