Cyclone Nivar, which is expected to make landfall on the Tamil Nadu-Puducherry coast late Wednesday night, has already intensified into a ‘very severe’ cyclonic storm. The weather formation was about 90 km east-southeast of Cuddalore, about 150 km east southeast of Puducherry and 220 km south southeast of Chennai on Wednesday evening.
What is Cyclone Nivar’s intensity?
According to the Regional Meteorological Department in Chennai, the weather formation has already intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm. The cyclone with a gale wind speed reaching 115-125 kmph gusting to 140 kmph was prevailing over southwest Bay of Bengal and is expected to make landfall with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph by late Wednesday night to early hours of Thursday. Senior IMD officials said the cyclonic storm is likely to take about six hours to weaken after it makes landfall. Follow Cyclone Nivar LIVE Updates here
The affected areas
Regions, including Myladuthurai, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Cuddalore, Villupuram. Kallapurichi, Thiruvannamalai districts, and Puducherry are receiving extremely heavy rainfall. Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Trichy, Salem, Erode, Namakkal, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Vellore, Tiruppatur, Ranipet, Chengalpattu, Kanchipuram, Chennai, and Tiruvallur districts are receiving heavy to very heavy rainfall.
Heavy rain is expected in Chengalpattu, Villupuram, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, and Pudukkottai districts on Thursday as well.
Its impact so far
Water-logging in Chennai
Consistent rains from Tuesday morning led to water-logging in several parts of Chennai city, including thickly populated Velacherry and Nanganallur.
While the city was largely deserted and many remained home following the declaration of public holiday on Wednesday and Thursday, normal life was affected in several parts as shops were also shut fearing damage and flood.
Metro services, trains, ports affected
Chennai metro services were stopped at 7 pm Wednesday and will resume Thursday after reviewing the weather conditions. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram
Southern Railway cancelled at least 10 more train services for Thursday and Friday considering the expected impact of the cyclone.
All three ports in Chennai have been closed and cargo vessels were sent to outer seas as part of safety protocols. Besides cancelling several flights services, operations of Chennai International Airport will be suspended from 7pm (Wednesday) to 7am (Thursday).
Public holiday on Nov 26
The state government has announced a public holiday on Thursday for 16 districts including Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Chengalpet, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Tiruvannamalai, Ariyalur, Perambalur, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Kallakurichi, Tirupattur, Vellore and Ranipet.
Water released from Chembarambakkam lake
For the first time after the Chennai floods in 2015, about 1000-1500 cusecs of water was released from Chembarambakkam lake on Wednesday afternoon. The volume of water was increased to 5000 cusecs by evening. The quantity of release may be further increased in the night. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, along with senior officials, have inspected Chembarambakkam catchment area.
Fishing activities suspended, residents evacuated
The authorities have ordered total suspension of fishing activities as sea condition was high over southwest Bay of Bengal and rough to very rough along and off Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, south Andhra Pradesh coasts.
About 500 residents were evacuated from low-lying areas in Chennai alone.