Cyclone Laila, which crossed the coast of Andhra Pradesh near Bapatla in Guntur district on Thursday afternoon, forced industrial units, including commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland, to stop operations in Tamil Nadu.
While a cross-section of industry representatives said it did not create any major financial losses, some of the units were forced to shut shop due to flooding and power outages.
According to unconfirmed reports, the cyclone had claimed six lives in the state till today. The state had been experiencing heavy rains from Tuesday night.
A senior official of the Hinduja Group, which owns Ashok Leyland, said it had shut its Ennore unit for the last two days and were likely to resume operations on Friday.
“We are yet to estimate the financial losses — the production capacity at Ennore is 100 chassis a day. Our monthly production target will be achieved by increasing the productivity and through other measures.”
Similarly, Hinduja Foundries, another Hinduja Group company, too, closed its Ennore unit. “The operations have been disrupted due to the cyclone and heavy rains in Chennai since May 18. The company was forced to shut down operations due to the heavy flooding inside the Ennore factory on May 19. Estimated loss in production has not been estimated and damages are covered under insurance,” a company press release stated.
The cyclone put ports, refineries and the country's biggest gas field on the east coast of Tamil Nadu on high alert.
Said Captain Subhash Kumar, chairman of Chennai Port Trust, one of the major ports on the eastern coast, “Operations were not hit, however, we are caution and are on high alert.” He added that there were some small disruptions in the fishing harbour.
Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd, which operates two refineries near the cost of North Chennai, said the storm did not hit its operations.
Representatives from major industrial estates of Ambattur and Guindy said production had been hit by massive power cut due to the rains.
The Guindy estate alone does industrial activities worth Rs 2,500-3,000 crore annually and houses over 800 units.
Officials from Agricultural Insurance Company said the rains had brought good news for farmers in south Tamil Nadu.