Cyclone Nivar: South India braces for severe storm, midnight

Cyclone Nivar: South India braces for severe storm, midnight

KOLKATA (India) — Winds touching 100-110 km/hr with gushes reaching 145 km/hr is very likely to lash the South Indian coasts of Bay of Bengal from Wednesday, midnight, the Indian Meteorological Department has warned.

A depression that formed on the southwest Bay and adjoining southeast of Bengal (BoB) has intensified further yesterday evening, becoming what is called cyclone Nivar by Wednesday morning, the federal weather agency said.

Social media scenes from Chennai and regions of Tamil Nadu show incessant rains already battering the areas as severe cyclone Nivar is due to arrive at midnight. Chennai’s Poonamallee High Road has been flooded following heavy rain.

As per the agency, Nivar is very likely to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry on 25th November 2020, midnight, with wind speeds reaching up to 145 km/hr.

‘Fairly widespread’ to ‘widespread’ rainfall and thunderstorm activity has been predicted across the coastal and north interior Tamilnadu, Puducherry & Karaikal region between 24th to 26th, the IMD release said. An ‘orange’ warning has been in effect.

From today, Nivar is very likely to make its presence felt on the south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, and southeast Telengana during 26th November.

Cyclone Nivar: South India braces for severe storm, midnight
Screengrab via IMD

Both the governments of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has issued advisories to stay indoors and have declared public holidays.

The Southern Railways has canceled several trains for the time being, including two trains on 25th, seven for 26th, and one for 28th November, as the storm is expected to stutter rail operations.

Full refund will be extended for the booked tickets of the cancelled trains.

Cyclone Nivar: South India braces for severe storm, midnight
Image via ANI/ Twitter

Meanwhile, 26 flights to and from Chennai has been cancelled, Chennai airport said to news agency ANI.

Puducherry CM V.Narayanasamy meanwhile has made a visit to the Kanakachettikulam area near Kalapet to oversee the upcoming storm-surge preparation that is underway.

The CM has announced at least 80 centers that have been identified where food and shelter will be available for people in need. Electricity has been cut off which will be restored in 12-hours, he said.

Storm surge warning is in effect, with people in low lying areas in the north coaster districts of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and near the places of landfills, urged to move to higher places.

In Tamil Nadu, shutters of the Chembarambakkam Lake has been opened to release water into the Adyar River, in order to avert potential flooding from the heavy rains.

Few Indian Coast Guard vessel has been deployed off the Chennai coast with disaster relief items, and several helicopters have been put on standby for immediate relief activities following the weather ordeal.

What to expect?

With the sustained winds expected to touch up to 145 kilometers per hour, the Indian Meteorological Department has issued a warning over several infrastructural damages expected during the storm.

Thatched houses may be susceptible to more damage with the weak roofs and unattached metal sheets in danger of being blown away.

Metal and unmetalled roads may sustain damage and power communication lines maybe severed.

Fishermen have been strongly advised to not venture into the southwestern, and adjoining West Central and southeast Bay of Bengal, Gulf of Myanmar, and along the Tamilnadu, Pondicherry, and South Andhra Pradesh doing 24-25 November.

Helpline numbers

Puducherry: General helpline numbers like 100, 101, 112, and 1031 will be effective. 1070 and 1077 emergency natural disaster relief. 104 is for medical assistance and 108 for ambulance support.

To reach the Electricity Department, they can be reached on 2339532 or toll-free line 1800-425-1912. The public can also message on WhatsApp (9489080401).

Karaikal: Free helpline numbers – 1070/ 1077, Control Room – 04368 – 228801 227704, Whatsapp number – 99438 06263.

Tamil Nadu: 1077 is the toll-free number of any assistance.

District-wise, people can dial: Vriddhachalam: Sub-Collector Office 04143-260248; Tiruvarur: WhatsApp number 93453 36838; Pudukottai: 04322-222207; Cuddalore:  District Collectorate -04142 220700/233933/221383/221113; Revenue Divisional Office – 04142-231284 and Chidambaram: Sub-Collector Office 04144-222256/290037.

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