Trains and buses cancelled, NDRF teams on alert: Here’s how Tamil Nadu is bracing for Cyclone Nivar

Authorities in Tamil Nadu have suspended inter and intra-district bus services in seven of the state’s districts from Tuesday and partially and fully cancelled trains in some districts as severe cyclonic storm Nivar is likely to cross its coast between Karaikal and Mamallapuram on Wednesday. The Tamil Nadu government on Monday reviewed the situation and directed district administrations to be on guard as the depression over the Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm by Tuesday and cross the coast as a severe cyclonic storm a day after.

Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami, during a review meeting, asked his cabinet colleagues and officials to remain fully alert and take appropriate precautionary measures ahead of Cyclone Nivar. A number of directions were issued during the review meeting asking officials of various departments to be on standby with the required equipment, earthmovers, trucks and other machinery from Monday onwards in Pudukottai, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Tanjavur, Tiruvarur, Villupuram and Chengalpattu districts.

Officials were also directed to ensure evacuation of people in vulnerable areas, facilities, including the supply of food in relief camps, safeguarding boats and nets of fishermen, taking up fogging operations, monitoring water levels in big lakes and provision of mobile communication units. Six teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams should be stationed in Cuddalore and two in Chennai with equipment.

Suspension of inter and intra-district bus services were announced in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Tanjavur, Tiruvarur, Villupuram, Chengalpattu and Pudukottai districts from 1pm on Tuesday till further orders, even as the chief minister appealed people to avoid travelling by their own vehicles except for essential requirements. People should stock themselves with torch lights, candles and matchboxes and also avoid venturing out during gusty winds, Palaniswami added.

Tamil Nadu’s revenue minister RB Udayakumar and electricity minister P Thangamani expressed the preparedness of their ministries ahead of Cyclone Nivar. Udayakumar told reporters that all arrangements are in place to face the cyclone and special attention will be given to following social distancing norms in the relief shelters owing to the coronavirus pandemic. He added that those living in low lying areas should immediately shift to relief camps. Thangamani said that as a precaution power supply will be cut off when the storm crosses the coast on Wednesday.

The weather bureau has said that the depression over southwest and adjoining the southeast Bay of Bengal has moved west-north westwards and lay centred about 520km east southeast of Puducherry and 560km southeast of Chennai. M Mohapatra, India Meteorological Department’s (IMD’s) director general, said on Monday that Nivar is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours. The depression is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm during next 24 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a bulletin on Monday.

“It is very likely to move north westwards and cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around November 25 afternoon as a severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph,” it said.

Widespread rainfall and thunderstorm were “very likely” over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal from Tuesday will Thursday, IMD has warned. Isolated extremely heavy rainfall was very likely over Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Karaikal, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Ariyalur and Perambalur, Kallakurichi, Puducherry, Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Chengalpattu between Wednesday and Thursday. A high alert has been sounded in Nagapattinam and fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea till Thursday.

(With agency inputs)

By Hindustan Time

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