Weather: Tamil Nadu, Puducherry brace for ‘very severe cyclone Nivar’

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on November 24, 2020

Cyclone 'Nivar' over the South-West Bay of Bengal is forecast to aim the Puducherry coast and neighbourhood for a landfall on Wednesday evening, according to the India Meteorological Department.   -  The Weather Company.

Public holiday in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday; trains, bus services suspended

Feverish preparations are on across Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to deal with the havoc the approaching cyclone ‘Nivar’ could wreak as it is seen rapidly intensifying into a very severe cyclone by Wednesday morning and expected to barrel into the Karaikal-Mamallapuram coast around Puducherry late in the evening.

As a precautionary measure, the Tamil Nadu government has declared a public holiday on Wednesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Edappadi K Palaniswami, and Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and promised all support from the Centre to deal with the emerging situation.

High winds, heavy rains

‘Nivar’ will not lose any intensity on landfall and will generate ferocious winds speeding up to 120-130 km/hour and gusting to 145 km/hour, Mryutunjay Mohapatra, Director, India Meteorological Department (IMD), said in New Delhi. The coastal districts of Nagapattinam, Karaikal, Myladuthurai, Cuddalore, Villupuram and Chengalpattu in Tamil Nadu will bear the brunt of the high winds and the extremely heavy rainfall.

Mohapatra warned that tidal waves that could rise to 3.2-4.9 ft above the astronomical tide and inundate the low-lying areas of the north coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry near the point of landfall. Almost all places over north coastal Tamil Nadu and adjoining interior started receiving moderate to heavy rainfall from early hours of Tuesday even while ‘Nivar’ was purveying the distant waters.

Suburban trains cancelled

The Southern Railway announced that suburban train services in Chennai will remain cancelled from 10 am on Wednesday until further notice. The Tamil Nadu government has already announced suspension of bus services in some districts.

The Chennai Port said four cargo vessels, which are working now, are being moved to the high seas one by one in order to ensure the safety of the vessels and the port facilities.

The cyclone protection machinery at the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) at Kalpakkam, 70 km from Chennai along the coast, has been activated. Station authorities are on high alert, closely monitoring the weather bulletins and ready to take necessary actions when required, said a statement.

NDRF personnel deployed

Meanwhile, SN Pradhan, Director-General, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), said in New Delhi on Tuesday that 22 teams have been deployed/put on alert across Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Eight more teams are on standby. Additional forces could be mobilised from Thrissur, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada, if needed.

Given the pandemic situation, the NDRF personnel would be deployed in PPE equipment and they would observe all relevant protocols and standard operating procedures while carrying out relief and rescue operations.

(With inputs from Chennai Bureau)





Published on November 24, 2020

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