Chennai: Cyclone Nivar, which will likely become a “very severe cyclonic storm”, is expected to make landfall this evening between Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu (which is around 56 km from state capital Chennai) and Karaikal in Puducherry.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has said Cyclone Nivar is set to cross the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry as a “very severe cyclonic storm” late on Wednesday. Parts of Andhra Pradesh are also forecast to be slammed by the cyclone.
The cyclone is expected to make landfall between Mamallapuram and Karaikal late on Wednesday with a wind speed of up to 145kmph, according to IMD. IMD said, in a series of tweets on Wednesday morning, that “very heavy rainfall – 120 mm – recorded in Chennai/Minabakkam” from 8:30am on Tuesday to 5:30am as of Wednesday. “It is very likely to move west-northwestwards for next 06 hours and northwestwards thereafter; cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram during the night of 25th Nov as a very severe cyclonic storm with wind speed 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph,” it said.
“Near latitude 10.2°N and longitude 82.0°E about 300 km east-southeast of Cuddalore, about 310 km east southeast of Puducherry and 370 km south southeast of Chennai. It is very likely to intensify further into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 12 hours,” the weather bureau said in another tweet. “The Severe Cyclonic Storm NIVAR over southwest Bay of Bengal moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 06 kmph during past six hours and lay centred at 0230 hrs IST of 25th November, 2020 over southwest Bay of Bengal,” it added.
Tamil Nadu’s chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami declared Wednesday a public holiday and said it could be extended. In Puducherry, public gatherings were banned from late Tuesday until early Thursday. Shops in the Union territory, except those for essential services like pharmacies and petrol stations, were to be shut until the cyclone passes.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed as many as 30 teams in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh and 20 additional teams have been kept on standby.