Even as the Cyclone Nivar was far away from the Tamil Nadu coast, capital Chennai witnessed heavy rainfall on Tuesday. As per the Indian Meteorological Department’s (IMD) observation, the cyclone is likely to move towards Tamil Nadu coast, close to Puducherry, at around 5 pm on Wednesday.
The Tamil Nadu government has announced a public holiday on Wednesday. Barring essential services, all government offices across the state will be closed. Some benches of Madras HC decided to wind up proceedings before 4 pm on Tuesday for court employees to reach home.
The depression over the Bay of Bengal that intensified into a deep depression on Monday was being intensified into a cyclonic weather system on Tuesday.
An update from IMD on Tuesday evening said: “It is likely to be a very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph. The cyclone is likely to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikkal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry late evening on Wednesday.”
Even as the climatic situation was far away from Chennai on Tuesday, several parts of the state including Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengalpet districts received heavy to very heavy rainfall on Tuesday morning.
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On Tuesday afternoon, according to IMD, the cyclone was at 450 km south-west of Chennai and was moving north-westward. The weather agency added that the storm surge of about two metre above the sea level is likely around the time of landfall, causing inundation of low-lying areas.
It is predicted that the cyclonic storm is likely to move towards Tamil Nadu coast, crossing closer to Puducherry, at around 5 pm on Wednesday. And the rainfall in the state is likely to continue till Friday.
Considering the weather situation, several train services from Chennai including almost all heading to southern districts have been fully cancelled on November 25, 2020.
Suburban train services in Chennai will not be operational from 10 am on Wednesday.
As it is almost certain that the highly crowded urban neighbourhoods of Puducherry, Chennai and neighbouring districts are likely to face the heat of Nivar Cyclone, a magisterial order has been issued in Puducherry imposing the Section 144 from Tuesday 9 pm till 6 am on Thursday morning in entire Puducherry.
The National Disasters Response Force (NDRF) sent 30 teams to launch rescue and relief operations.
All private omni bus services have been ordered to stop operations in six Tamil Nadu districts including Chengalpattu, Villupuram, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur and Cuddalore from Tuesday afternoon.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy about the situation and assured all possible support from the Centre. “I pray for the safety and well-being of those living in the affected areas,” PM Modi tweeted.
All trains to southern districts have been cancelled considering the heavy rains and high winds ahead of the
Health Minister C Vijayabaskar said additional manpower has been deployed and the vehicles have been positioned near government hospitals and police stations to prevent problems arising out of power failure and disruption of telecommunication facilities. He said 465 ambulances are ready for operations in Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Pudukottai, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur and Chengalpattu regions besides coordination of fire and police department for emergency situations.
A 24-hour emergency centre has been established in the state to send out the government’s alerts through SMS and Whatsapp (044-28888105 or 7338895011).
The Indian Navy and the Coast Guard are also ready to deploy flood relief teams in Chennai, Puducherry as well as Nagapattinam and Ramanathapuram.
The coast guard alone has readied 15 disaster relief teams to assist the state and district administrations and deployed four offshore patrol vessels to assist fishermen and merchant vessels. Two helicopters are also on standby.
The Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) near Chennai has activated the cyclone protection mechanism and a high alert has been sent out to monitor the weather bulletins. The MAPS also took precautions such as placing sandbags on the coastal side and carried out inspection of plant buildings and structures as the Unit II of the establishment is operational at its full capacity of 220 MW.
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