Cyclone Nivar makes landfall, heavy rain lashes Chennai, Puducherry
Chennai/IBNS: Cyclone Nivar has started the process of landfall between Puducherry and Tamil Nadu's Marakkanam, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said late on Wednesday.
Nivar now lies about 50 km east-southeast of Cuddalore, about 40 km east southeast of Puducherry.
The coastal states have been bracing for the "very severe cyclonic storm" as more than a lakh people have been evacuated from low-lying areas.
Nivar has brought with it heavy rain and strong winds, which forced authorities to declare a public holiday till Thursday.
Authorities declared to close the Chennai airport and metro services on Wednesday.
Due to the forecast of #CycloneNivar with very severe cyclonic storm expected to hit the Southern India region today midnight, #AAI's Chennai @aaichnairport has suspended aircraft operations from 7PM today to 7AM tomorrow. #ChennaiRains— Airports Authority of India (@AAI_Official) November 25, 2020
Photo source: @Indiametdept pic.twitter.com/0PdpAgYaCQ
According to the Met department, the cyclone will bring extremely heavy rainfall and winds between 120 and 130 km per hour, with gusts of up to 145 km per hour.
Very severe cyclonic storm Nivar now lies about 50 km east-southeast of Cuddalore, about 40 km east southeast of Puducherry.LANDFALL PROCESS CONTINUES.CENTRE OF CYCLONE TO CROSS COAST NEAR PUDUCHERRY WITHIN NEXT 3 HOURS WITH WIND SPEED OF 120-130 KMPH GUSTING TO 145 KMPH. pic.twitter.com/5SJTQexHcT— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) November 25, 2020
Bus services in seven Tamil Nadu districts have been suspended.
The state government has said that those involved in essential services will continue to work.
Chief Minister E. Palaniswami has appealed to people to stay indoors as far as possible.
He informed that over 4,000 "vulnerable" locations had been identified and local officials have directed to ensure peoples' safety.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been pressed into action with personnel been deployed in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
Cyclone Nivar is likely to cause heavy damages to houses, uproot power lines and trees and destroy crops along the southeast coast.