CHENNAI: The landfall for the Nivar cyclonic storm is now expected by midnight tonight, weather bureau here said, while precautionary and relief mechanisms are on stand-by to face situations. The Chennai airport has been closed for air traffic from 7pm to 7am tomorrow, and ban on assembly has been imposed in Puducherry and Karakkal regions.
Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry are receiving heavy rainfall in the past 24 hours.
“Nivar is approaching the shores at a windspeed of 120 to 130kmph. It has intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm. It is likely to hit the coast between Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu, some 55km from here, and Karaikkal in Puducherry any time between midnight tonight and tomorrow morning,” the weather bureau stated.
The Tamil Nadu government declared a holiday for Thursday in 13 vulnerable coastal districts. Some 2,000 people have been evacuated to safety in Cudallore district. Bus services have been suspended in seven districts.
Central disaster relief agencies are keeping a close track of the situation alongside rescue and security agencies in Tamil Nadu. Some 1,200 National Disaster Response Force personnel have been deployed in vulnerable areas of TN, Puducherry and AP, and boats for rescue and relief have been arranged. Ships are also on stand-by. The Indian Navy is also closely monitoring the situation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his concern. “Spoke to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Shri Edappadi K Palaniswami and Puducherry Chief Minister Shri V Narayanasamy regarding the situation in the wake of Cyclone Nivar. Assured all possible support from the Centre. I pray for the safety and well-being of those living in the affected areas,” the Prime Minister tweeted in English and Tamil.
A cyclonic storm in 2015 played havoc with life in Chennai and parts of Tamil Nadu. -IHN-NN
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