Colombo, Dec 3 (efe-epa).- Tropical cyclone Burevi was on the way out of Sri Lanka and headed toward India on Thursday after causing little damage on the island, officials said.
“The worst of the cyclone has passed. It has moved into the sea now,” a meteorology department official told EFE.
According to the Disaster Management Center (DMC), Burevi hit the island’s northern and eastern provinces, and the government evacuated over 10,000 people to safe locations.
One person from Jaffna in the northern province is missing, DMC spokesperson Pradeep Kodippili told EFE. Altogether, over 12,250 people were affected by the cyclone.
The storm left four people injured and damaged over 200 houses, according to the DMC.
The government had already shut down all schools in the eastern and northern provinces until Friday.
“It was very strange for us. The winds came with sea water. In the morning, we saw its destruction. Houses were damaged and trees had fallen,” Robert Peries, 54, an engineer from coastal village Pesalai in Mannar told EFE.
The authorities had also cautioned fisher communities against venturing into the sea.
Peries said most of the damaged houses in his village were huts belonging to members of the fisher community.
“Their fishing gears were damaged too. Most of them were blown into the sea. The winds were very rough. My boat is also completely destroyed,” he said.
The cyclone has hit the fisher community that is already reeling under the effects of Covid-19. The fishing industry is the main source of income for a majority of people living in the coastal areas in the north and east.
People stopped buying fish after many fisher-men tested positive for the coronavirus. The government closed down several fish markets in the country.
Burevi was now moving towards neighboring India, the India Meteorological Department said.
“The Cyclone Burevi lay close to Pamban with associated wind speed of 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph,” the IMD tweeted.
The cyclone was to cross Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Kanniyakumari by Friday morning, it said. EFE-EPA