Cyclone Nivar makes landfall and rains hit the Tamil Nadu coast
The landfall of Cyclone Nivar (pronounced Nivaar, which means atmosphere) began around 10:30 pm, according to the latest weather bulletin from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday night.
Wind speeds are expected to be between 120 and 130 kmph, with gusts of up to 145 kmph when the cyclone makes landfall, IMD said in its bulletin at 9:30 pm.
Nivar will hit as a very severe cyclonic storm, IMD said, adding that the storm is likely to cross the coast between Karaikal in Puducherry and Mamallapuram “during midnight on November 25 and the early hours of November 26.”
Torrential rains accompanied by gusts of wind hit various parts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Wednesday, flooding many towns, while more than a lakh people were moved to shelters as the cyclone approached land.
More than 150 relief centers are on standby, government officials said.
Areas in and around Chennai witnessed heavy rains, accompanied by strong winds on Wednesday.
The cyclone is likely to damage houses and roads, destroy power lines and trees and destroy crops along the southeast coast of India, IMD said in a statement.
Edappadi Palaniswami, the prime minister of the state of Tamil Nadu, declared Wednesday and Thursday holidays in some areas, ordered the interruption of bus services, recommended that fishermen not venture out to sea and asked people to stay in the inside.
Ships in the city’s port have moved out to sea and port operations will likely remain closed until the cyclone makes landfall, a senior port official said.
Chennai airport will be closed until 7 a.m. local time (0130 GMT) on Thursday, India’s aviation minister said in a post on Twitter.
Nivar is moving west to north at a speed of 16 km / h and is currently around 130 km from Chennai and 55 km from Puducherry, the IMD said in its latest bulletin.
Chennai, Chengelpet, Tiruvallur and Cuddalore districts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry received heavy rains. Chennai recorded the maximum of 16 cm on Wednesday, while Puducherry received 10 cm, the IMD said.
The gates of the Chembarambakkam reservoir near here were opened for the first time in five years as a precautionary measure, releasing a torrent of surplus water into the Adyar River after its storage was only 20% below capacity due to the heavy rains before the cyclone.
The rains are expected to continue in many places in these regions on Thursday also with heavy rains in some places.