Cyclone Nilam: Bodies of missing sailors found in India

  • 2 November 2012
  • From the section India
Media captionThe BBC's Sanjoy Majumder at the scene: "Two coastguard helicopters were able to get some of them off that ship"

The bodies of three of the five missing sailors from an oil tanker which ran aground after a cyclone hit India's Tamil Nadu state have been found.

The bodies will be identified after post-mortems have been conducted, officials say.

Rescue operations are still on to trace the remaining two sailors from the Pratibha Cauvery ship who went missing after their life-boat capsized.

One crew member drowned when their boat overturned near Chennai.

Authorities are still trying to assess the extent of damage to the ship before trying to refloat it.

Cyclone Nilam struck the south-eastern coast with winds of up to 100km/h (60mph) on Wednesday night.

The discovery of these bodies brings the number of people killed in the cyclone to 10.

Meanwhile, thousands of people who were evacuated ahead of the storm are now returning home.

"We have hired 400 trucks to transport families from rescue shelters to their houses. They have all been given food packets and medicines," news agency AFP quoted Jayraman, a disaster management official in Chennai, as saying.

The authorities had evacuated more than 100,000 people to higher ground, into schools and other temporary shelters.

In December 2011, more than 30 people died and many homes were damaged after a cyclone struck near the neighbouring town of Pondicherry.

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