A cyclone will come rolling into Tamil Nadu and Puducherry as a severe storm on Wednesday, bringing the state to a halt. Chhristened 'Nivar', the cyclone was very likely to cross the coast between Karaikal in Puducherry and Mamallapuram over 50 kilometers from Chennai late Wednesday evening as a severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 100-110 km per hour gusting to 120 kmph, the India Meteorological Department said. According to the forecast, rainfall is very likely at most places in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal, near Nagapattinam, on Wednesday with heavy to very heavy showers at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places under the influence of the cyclone, the first one to form since the onset of the northeast monsoon on October 28.
Tuesday saw intermittent rains in several parts of the state and the UT with multiple state and central agencies, including the Coast Guard, the National Disaster Response Force, the Fire and Rescue Services, deploying their assets and personnel to tackle the cyclone's fury.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday spoke to Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry K Palaniswami and V Narayanasamy respectively on the situation arising out of the cyclone and assured them of all possible support from the Centre.
About 1,200 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rescue personnel have been deployed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry and 800 others are on standby. At least 50 NDRF teams have been earmarked for combating any situation emerging out of the cyclone. An NDRF team typically comprises about 40 rescue troopers.
A total of 22 teams have been pre-deployed while eight are on standby in the two affected states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and in the Union Territory of Puducherry. Out of these 30 teams, 12 are deployed in Tamil Nadu, seven in Andhra Pradesh and three in Puducherry. An additional 20 teams will be on standby to be airlifted from locations such as Cuttack (Odisha), Vijaywada (Andhra Pradesh) and Thrissur (Kerala).
What may be hit
- A holiday has been declared for government officers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
- All shops and establishments in Tamil Nadu, barring those selling essentials such as medicine and milk, have been closed till 6 am on Thursday.
- Bus services have been suspended in Pudukottai, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Cuddalore, Villupuram and Chengelpet.
- Southern Railways have announced cancellation of 12 trains, including the Chennai Madurai Special.
- Six special trains of the Thiruvananthpuram division of the Southern Railways have been cancelled on November 25. Trains which have been cancelled are: Train No. 02634 Kanyakumari Chennai Egmore Daily Superfast Express Special; Train No 02633 Chennai EgmoreKanyakumari Daily Superfast Express Special; Train No06724 KollamChennai Egmore Daily (Ananthapuri) Express Special;Train No 06723 Chennai EgmoreKollam Daily (Ananthapuri) Express Special;Train No. 06102 KollamChennai Egmore Express Special via Sengottai, Madurai Jn andTrain No 06101 Chennai Egmore Kollam Express Special via Madurai Jn, Sengottai. The railways has said full refund would be granted to passengers of the cancelled trains.
- Running of suburban trains is conditional upon prevailing weather.
- Prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC have been imposed in Puducherry to prevent movement of people in public places. All shops and business establishments have been directed to be closed from 9 pm on Tuesday to 6 am on Thursday.
- There could be serious damage to thatched huts, disruption of power and communication lines, damage to roads, uprooting of trees.
- Horticulture crops like banana and papaya may also suffer damage.