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Weather: Heavy rain, wind lash Tamil Nadu, Puducherry as Nivar nears coast

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on November 25, 2020

Severe cyclone 'Nivar' strikes a menacing pose off the Tamil Nadu coast at Wednesday noon. It is expected to intensify as a very severe cyclone by the evening and make a landfall over the coast by midnight.   -  The Weather Company.

‘Very severe cyclone’ expected to make midnight landfall near Puducherry

Tamil Nadu and Puducherry went on high alert as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) elevated the ‘severe’ Nivar to a ‘very severe cyclone’ on Wednesday evening. The system was headed to the coast between Karaikal and Mamallapuram, and expected to make landfall near Puducherry around midnight or early on Thursday.

On Wednesday afternoon, ‘Nivar’ was located over south-west Bay of Bengal about 90 km east-south-east of Cuddalore; 150 km east-south-east of Puducherry; and 220 km south-south-east of Chennai.

Intensity after landfall

‘Nivar’ may maintain cyclone intensity for about six hours after landfall.

Heavy to very heavy rainfall and isolated extremely heavy rainfall are forecast over Ranipet, Tiruvannamalai, Tirupattur and Vellore districts of Tamil Nadu and Chittoor, Kurnool, Prakasam, and Cuddappa districts of Andhra Pradesh and adjoining south-east Telangana on Thursday.

Heavy to very heavy rainfall may pound the rest of North Interior Tamil Nadu, south Andhra Pradesh and south-east Telangana. Gale wind speed reaching 65-75 km/hour and gusting to 85 km/hour may prevail over Ranipet, Tiruvannamalai, Tirupattur and Vellore and Chittoor from Thursday morning to forenoon.

Chennai comes to standstill

‘Nivar’ brought Chennai to a standstill as heavy rain pounded the city on Wednesday. Strong winds took over in the evening and uprooted many trees. Danger Signal No 9 remained hoisted at the Chennai port through the day indicating ‘great danger’.

Flights suspended

The Airports Authority of India announced that aircraft operations at Chennai Airport will remain suspended from 7 pm on Wednesday to 7 am on Thursday. Nearly 30 flight movements (both arrival and departure) were cancelled as were 14 trains, while eight skipped the city.

Major arterial roads were shut since afternoon to ensure that people don't move about. Vehicle movement was minimal as people remained indoors. Theatres were also shut. A public holiday has been declared on Thursday in 13 districts where the cyclone is expected to have an impact.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, who is continuously monitoring the situation, was at the Chembarambakkam lake, on the outskirts of Chennai, when shutters were opened for the first time in the last five years.

Learning from the 2015 flooding of Chennai by the delayed release of large quantities of water from the lake, the Tamil Nadu government this time released 1,000 cusecs since noon and increased it to 5,000 by evening.

(With inputs from Chennai Bureau)

 

Published on November 25, 2020

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