Chennai/Cuddalore: Rains lashed several parts of Tamil Nadu on Thursday influenced by cyclonic storm Nada, which is likely to cross the coast near here in the early hours of Friday.
With the cyclonic storm expected to bring heavy downpour coupled with gusty winds, the state government is gearing up to handle any eventuality.
A year ago, Tamil Nadu was hit by one of the worst floods.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Wednesday’s depression over Bay of Bengal has intensified into cyclonic storm Nada and under its influence rains have begun in coastal, northern and some interior parts of Tamil Nadu.
While the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams have been deployed in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, holidays have been declared in eight districts on Thursday and Friday. University examinations have also been cancelled.
The meteorological department has also warned fishermen not to venture out in the sea.
A statement from the Tamil Nadu government said, “The general public are advised to listen to latest updates by IMD about Cyclone. Public may contact 1070/1077 (toll-free numbers for help) in emergency situations.
“The public are also advised to move to the relief centres as and when advised by the district collector.”
The update from the Tamil Nadu government also said that all district collectors have been alerted to take “all precautionary measures and necessary actions if required to evacuate people from low lying and vulnerable areas to the relief centres.”
“All the 32 revenue districts including 13 coastal districts are being monitored continuously. The district administrations are fully prepared (to handle any eventuality),” agricultural production commissioner and secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi told PTI.
State revenue minister R.B. Udaya Kumar said, “Be it heavy rains (which is expected) or gusty winds, all preparations are on.” He said during heavy winds power lines will be needing more attention and the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation is fully prepared to tackle the situation.
He said other preparations like setting up common kitchens to cater to the needs of people in relief centres were in place in coastal districts including Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Chennai.
Meanwhile, weather bloggers have said that the Nada has started to lose its intensity due to unfavourable conditions.
“Moderate rains start around delta region as giant killer wind shear weakens cyclone Nada. It’s going to be like any other normal day with rains in Chennai and very heavy rains are not expected in Chennai,” said an update from a weather blog Tamil Nadu Weatherman.
PTI contributed to this story