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Fishermen shift their boats for safety following Cyclone Nivar alert, in Mamallapuram (PTI)
Fishermen shift their boats for safety following Cyclone Nivar alert, in Mamallapuram (PTI)

Cyclone Nivar: Depression to cross Tamil Nadu coast on Wednesday, govt reviews situation

  • TN govt has announced suspension of inter and intra-district bus services in seven districts from Tuesday, till further orders
  • The depression is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm during next 24 hours, IMD said in a bulletin

Chennai: With the depression over the Bay of Bengal likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm by Tuesday and cross the coast as a severe cyclonic storm a day after, the Tamil Nadu government on Monday reviewed the situation, asking the respective district administrations to be on guard.

It announced suspension of inter and intra-district bus services in seven districts from Tuesday, till further orders. Trains were partially and fully cancelled in some districts. The depression over southwest and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal moved west-northwestwards a speed of 11 kmph and lay centred at 1130 hrs of Monday over the same region, about 520 km east-southeast of Puducherry and 560 km southeast of Chennai, the IMD said.

The depression is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm during next 24 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a bulletin. "It is very likely to move northwestwards and cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around November 25 afternoon as a severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph," it said. Under its influence, widespread rainfall/thunderstorm were "very likely" over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal during November 24 to 26, the IMD warned. Isolated extremely heavy rainfall was very likely over Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Karaikal, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Ariyalur and Perambalur, Kallakurichi, Puducherry, Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Chengalpattu between Wednesday and Thursday.

As a result, a high alert has been sounded in Nagapattinam and fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea till November 26. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami, who held a review meeting here, asked his cabinet colleagues and officials to remain fully alert and take appropriate precautionary measures. At the "NIVAR Cyclone" review meeting, a number of directions were issued, he later said in a statement.

These included officials of various departments being on standby with required equipment, earth movers, trucks and other machinery from Monday onwards in Pudukottai, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Tanjavur, Tiruvarur, Villupuram and Chengalpattu districts, he said. Evacuation of people in vulnerable areas, facilities, including supply of food in relief camps, safeguarding boats and nets of fishermen, taking up fogging operations, monitoring water levels in big lakes and provision of mobile communication units should be ensured, he said. Further, since the cyclone is slated to cross the coast in north Tamil Nadu, six NDRF teams should be stationed in Cuddalore and two in Chennai with required equipment, he said.

He announced suspension of inter and intra-district bus services in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Tanjavur, Tiruvarur, Villupuram, Chengalpattu and Pudukottai districts from 1 PM on Tuesday till further orders and appealed the people to avoid travel by own vehicles except for essential requirements. People should stock themselves with torch lights, candles and matchboxes. They should also avoid venturing out during gusty winds, he added. Revenue Minister R B Udayakumar and Electricity Minister P Thangamani expressed preparedness of their ministries to respond to any challenges arising due to the cyclone. Udayakumar told reporters that all arrangements are in place to face the cyclone and special attention will be given to follow social distancing norms in the relief shelters owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those living in low lying areas should immediately shift to relief camps, he said. Thangamani said power supply will be cut off when the storm crosses the coast on November 25, as a precaution. Cuddalore district has been given priority due to heavy rains. About 1.5 lakh electric poles are available with the government, he added.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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