Chennai/Hyderabad, Dec 29: Coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh were today put on high alert ahead of a very severe cyclonic storm ‘Thane' that is expected to hit the Bay of Bengal coast in the two states by tomorrow morning.
As authorities braced for the storm that threatened to bring very heavy rainfall combined with squally winds gusting upto 135 kmph. the Tamil Nadu government announced a holiday for educational institutions in the state's coastal districts including Chennai, Cuddalore and Tiruvarur tomorrow.
The regional meteorological office in Chennai said the cyclonic storm over southwest Bay of Bengal slightly moved westward and lay centered at about 180 km east of Puducherry, 180 km southeast of Chennai.
The system is likely to move westwards and cross north Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Chennai, close to Puducherry around early tomorrow morning, it said.
North Tamil Nadu and Puducherry could experience extremely heavy rainfall of 25 cm, while isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur over south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalseema, it said.
Squally winds with speeds touching 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph is likely along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and South Andhra Pradesh coasts. The wind speed would increase gradually, gusting to 135 kmph along and off north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast from tonight,it said.
The met office warned that the storm surge of about 1-1.5 metre height above astronomical tide would inundate low lying areas of Puducherry and Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Villupuram districts of Tamil Nadu in landfall. Sea condition is very rough and would gradually become very high to phenomenal.
Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts have been advised not to venture into the sea in next 48 hours, the met office said.
The AP government directed Collectors of vulnerable coastal districts to immediately evacuate people living in low-lying areas and closer to the shore.
The storm may cause heavy rain up to 25 cm in districts like Nellore, Prakasam and Chittoor in the state, an official release said in Hyderabad.