Chennai, Oct.31 (ANI): Cyclone Nilam landed on the Tamil Nadu coast on Wednesday evening. It made a landfall over Mahabalipuram.
More than 4000 people have been evacuated near Mahabalipuram amid warnings from the weather department of extensive damage to huts, standing crops and power lines. The landfall is expected to continue for an hour. As per the Met department there was the possibility of the cyclone to intensify.
Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh and Chennai are on high alert. The wind speed of the cyclone went up to 100 km/per hour as per reports.
Extremely heavy rainfall of over 25 centimeters or more is expected over north Coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the next few hours.
Rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls is expected to occur over the south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and north interior Tamil Nadu in the next 48.
Storm surge of about 1-1.5 metre over the astronomical tide is likely to inundate low lying areas of Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Nellore districts, it said.
As per the Met officials, Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur, Tanjavaur, Tiruchirappalli, Cuddalore, Pondicherry, Villupuram, Kanchipuram, Chennai, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore and Tiruvallur districts in Tamil Nadu and Nellore, Chittor, Anantapur, Cuddapa and Kurnool districts in Andhra Pradesh will be the most affected by the cyclone.
Some places in Kerala would also experience the impact of this cyclone.
Telecommunication, electricity, rail, road and flights services will be affected by the cyclone. The coastal areas would be most affected as along with very heavy rain, they also have to encounter the high tides causing floodings.
The cyclone, after landing it would weaken as it will lose most of its energy and would then approach again in the same direction. It is expected to become slow after the next 72 hours.
The Met department said, “The sea condition will be rough along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 36 hour.”
Standing crops – paddy, groundnut and maize – in coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are likely to be damaged.
The Tamil Nadu government has announced holiday for schools and colleges in the coastal districts.
However, the cyclone has already triggered rainfall in Chennai, in coastal Andhra Pradesh and Bangalore. Heavy downpour has uprooted many old, massive trees in the Chennai city blocking roads, which officials are clearing quickly.
The city administration has advised people to remain indoors if possible or return home soon. The authorities in Chennai have issued a helpline number 1913 for those seeking assistance. The state government has deputed 13 IAS officers to look into preparations.
In Chennai, 282 schools will serve as relief centres. Community kitchens have also been arranged. Cyclone shelters have been organised in Nagapattinam and Cuddalore districts with essential supplies. The government plans to send generators and sand bags to vulnerable areas in the districts.
Five coastal districts in Andhra which are in Nilam’s path are on alert. Fishermen have been advised not to venture out in sea till the storm settles. Rescue and relief teams are also on standby and shelters being prepared in case evacuation becomes necessary.
The disaster management agency of the state is supervising the precautionary arrangements being taken by the local administration to minimise the loss of human life and property in case of any eventuality.
The Chennai port on the southeast coast has stopped cargo operations after a cyclone warning. (ANI with inputs)