The IMD announced that very severe cyclone Nivar is expected to make landfall between the coast of Puducherry and Tamil Nadu between 8 to 12 PM on Wednesday with wind speeds expected to range between 120-130 Km/hr which can reach up to 145 Km/hr. The storm lay centered over southwest Bay of Bengal near latitude 10.0°N and longitude 82.6°E, about 370 km east-southeast of Puducherry and 420 km south-southeast of Chennai at 2.30 pm on Tuesday.
The Tamil Nadu Government has declared on Wednesday and announced suspension of transport service in the delta districts from 1 pm onwards on Tuesday until further notice. The Southern Railway also cancelled trains in the delta region on November 24th and 25th. The Railway authority has also assured the booked tickets of the cancelled trains will be refunded from the railway counter on surrendering of tickets within 15 days of the scheduled departure of the train as against the regular norm of 3 days.
Meanwhile, the Chennai Airport will operate regular services as scheduled on November 24. As of Tuesday morning, scheduled arrivals and departures will happen on November 25. A call on any changes in flight operations will be taken based on the situation, as per an airport official.
The NDRF has earmarked 30 teams to launch rescue and relief operations in view of the cyclone “Nivar” that is expected to hit the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry between Tuesday and Thursday, officials said on Monday.
A senior National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) officer said while 12 teams have been pre-deployed, 18 are on standby in these states and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
These teams will further be deployed in coordination with local authorities for relief and rescue works, including assistance in the evacuation of locals from affected areas.
On the other hand, dozens of fishermen from Karaikal, who staked into the sea five days ago are now untraceable. The Puducherry Government has alerted the coastal guard to trace and rescue them as soon as possible.
Meteorological Office in Chennai said the cyclone is likely to move northwestwards and pass the Karaikal-Mamallapuram coast around noon on Wednesday. Villupuram, Cuddalore, Puducherry and Chennai are expected to be among the worst hit regions. According to the cyclone live tracker, Nivar has been stagnant for the past three hours. Earlier, it was moving at a speed of 5 km per hour.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday spoke to the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry regarding the situation. In a tweet, the prime minister said, “Spoke to Tamil Nadu CM Shri @EPSTamilNadu and Puducherry CM Shri @VNarayanasami 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.”
An IMD bulletin said a well-marked low pressure in the Bay of Bengal closer to the Tamil Nadu coast will intensify into a depression in the next 12 hours and will develop into a cyclonic storm in the subsequent 24 hours. It is moving at 18kmph speed towards the coast.