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Opinion

Cyclone Nivar makes landfall, rain hits Tamil Nadu

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Cyclone Nivar’s landfall began around 10:30 p.m., 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. He further said that the very severe cyclonic storm was located 50 km east-northeast of Cuddalore, 40 km east-southeast of Puducherry and 120 km south of Chennai.

Earlier in the day, thousands of families were evacuated across Chennai and the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, even as torrential rains, strong winds and high tides continued to hit the state. “Up to 1,21,152 people have been evacuated across the state, including Cuddalore, Villupuram, Nagapattinam, Ariyalur, Perambalur,” said Phanindra Reddy, chief secretary and commissioner of the state department of disaster mitigation and management.

Life came to a standstill when electricity supplies were cut off in various parts of Chennai and other districts as hundreds of trees and power poles were uprooted. Buses and cars were seen stranded on roads and subways, forcing commuters through knee-deep water. Several houses in low-lying areas were also flooded with water. “People have been advised not to go out until the district authorities announce that it is safe,” Reddy said.

It is expected to make landfall between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry during midnight and early November 26 with a wind speed of 12-130 km / hr with gusts of 145 km / h. “Even after making landfall, the system is likely to maintain its cyclone intensity for about six hours and gradually weaken,” the meteorological office said.

Airport operations (domestic and international flights) at Chennai Airport were suspended from 7 pm on November 25 to 7 am on November 26. As of 8 pm, 2,707 people, including 525 children in relief camps in Chennai. All major arterial roads in Chennai have been closed until later. About 465 government ambulances have been stationed in seven coastal districts across the state.

Read also | Cyclone Nivar – Once Bitten Twice Shy, Chennai Residents Park Cars On Flyover

On Tuesday, IMD said that Nivar would make landfall as a very severe cyclonic storm in the afternoon, but on Wednesday morning the IMD bulletin said it was expected to make landfall in the evening. “There is a delay in the time of landfall due to the rather slow movement of the cyclone. But there are no changes from the expected intensity of a very severe cyclone during the time it makes landfall. The slow movement performed is due to the lighter heading winds in which the Cyclone is embedded, as well as the change in the direction of the movement, as predicted, ”added Devi.

The cyclone warning issued by IMD on Wednesday night was upgraded to the “Red” category from the “Orange” category due to the extremely heavy rain and damage expected in the region associated with making landfall. “A red cyclone warning represents the fourth warning stage, which also includes the post-landfall perspective. In the post-landfall perspective, we will include the likely motion and likely adverse weather in those districts, which could fall along the expected trajectory of the system after landfall. This is generally broadcast almost 12 hours before the planned landfall, ”Devi explained.

Even after making landfall, the system will likely maintain the intensity of your cyclone for about 6 hours, then gradually weaken. Under its influence, precipitation in most / many places with strong to very strong falls in some places with extremely strong falls (more than 20 cm) likely to occur over Ranipet, Tiruvannamalai, Tirupattur, Vellore districts of Tamil Nadu and Chittoor, Kurnool, Prakasam; Cuddappa districts of Andhra Pradesh and adjacent southeast Telangana on Nov. 26.

After 6 pm, 5,000 cusecs of surplus water were released from the Chembaramakkam reservoir into the Adyar River, an increase from the 1,000 cusecs released Wednesday at noon. “It will continue to increase as the influx increases,” Reddy said. “We will release water in a controlled manner,” Prime Minister Edappadi Palaniswami said after inspecting the Chembarambakkam reservoir, which is about 30 km from Chennai in the adjoining Kancheepuram district. “The Adyar River has the capacity to transport 60,000 cusecs. The government is taking all precautions. “

Braving the rains, civic workers, police, NDRF and SDRF personnel cleaned up waterlogging, downed trees and poles and evacuated families to safer locations. The armed forces are on standby with helicopters and boats ready for rescue operations. The previous cyclone to hit Tamil Nadu was Gaja (classified as a very severe cyclonic storm) in November 2018. It claimed 46 lives and left a trail of destruction that left thousands of people homeless. “This cyclone may not cause as much damage, but it will bring a lot of rain,” said former IMD director YEA Raj.

AIADMK and DMK leaders and workers also participated in relief work. Stalin, who was wearing rain gear, provided aid to families living in flooded areas such as Kolathur, Choolai and Villivakkam. BJP canceled its Vetrivel Yatra (victorious spear march) due to the cyclone and joined the relief work. Prime Minister Palaniswami announced a public holiday on Thursday in 16 districts of Tamil Nadu.

In Puducherry, where section 144 is imposed, 2,200 people have been transferred to 285 assistance centers. “The next few hours are crucial. We hope there are no major casualties or property damage, ”said Union Territory Collector T Arun.

Independent scientists said warming of the oceans due to climate change was causing more intense cyclones and dangerous storm surges. “We now have a La Niña in the Pacific, which are cool conditions in the Pacific that make local environmental conditions favorable for cyclogenesis in the Bay of Bengal. During the past 40 years, six cyclones, in the severe cyclone category, hit the coast of Tamil Nadu in November. Of these six, five coincided with conditions similar to those of La Niña in the Pacific. That means, to some extent, we were expecting a cyclone season in the Bay of Bengal during this time, and it’s not a surprise, ”said Roxy Mathew Koll, a scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and co-author of the Intergovernmental Panel on The Oceans report. Climate Change and Cryosphere said in a statement Wednesday.

“The case of the Cyclone Nivar is similar to that of the Cyclone Ockhi in several respects. In November 2017, Cyclone Ockhi rapidly intensified from a moderate cyclone to a very severe cyclone in 24 hours, killing 844 people in India and Sri Lanka. We found that unusually warm ocean temperatures favored its evolution from a depression to a cyclone in 9 hours and then to a very severe cyclone in 24 hours. The Bay of Bengal is part of the warm pool region, where temperatures are generally around 28-29 ° C in November and occasionally exceed 30 ° C. These high temperatures generally lead to cyclogenesis. Besides that, the element of global warming is there, this time the temperature anomalies are around 0.5-1 ° C and in some regions they reach 1.2 ° C, according to estimates from buoys and satellites ”, he added.

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