Cyclone Nivar, the slow-moving cyclone storm over the tepid waters of the Bay of Bengal, is turning into a monster.
On Wednesday evening, “Cyclone Nivar” is expected to make landfall and may cross Puducherry and Tamil Nadu seashores between Mamallapuram and Karaikal at wind speeds of 120-130 km/h, gusts up to 145 km/h.
The authorities in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu are expected the cities to be the first to be hit by cyclone “Nivar”. They said that while the central government assures all necessary help, they are taking preventive measures.
The Meteorological Department of India announced on Tuesday that Nivar will make landfall on the evening of November 25, with wind speeds of 120-130 km/h, and at 145 km/h, it will intensify into a strong cyclone storm.
Deputy Director-General of Meteorology at Chennai Regional Meteorological Center told reporters that the storm was moving at a speed of 5 km/h and lay over the southeast center of the Bay of Bengal, about 380 km southeast of Pondicherry, and 430 km of southeast Chennai.
‘Nivar’ will intensify into a severe cyclone storm on Wednesday and into a very severe cyclone storm in the following 12 hours. It is likely to traverse Tamil Nadu and Puducherry seashores between Karaikal and Mahabalipuram near Puducherry in the late November 25 evening, Balachandran said.
The cyclone is expected to bring heavy rainfall, leading to inundation, floods as well as with gusts uprooting trees and destroying fragile buildings. Therefore, the government of Tamil Nadu today announced a public holiday and expected that only essential services will continue.
Chennai Airport and the main roads in the capital of Tamil Nadu have been temporarily closed as the city is prepared for the impact of the Nivar cyclone.
At the same time, the authorities also announced the closure of all roads leading to Kasimedu Harbour, Marina beach, Pattinambakkam, Besant Nagar beach, and Thiruvanmiyur.
In addition to this, a public holiday has been announced in 13 districts of Tamil Nadu on Thursday, while the Puducherry government announced public holidays for the private schools and government until Saturday.
In Chennai, the impact of “cyclone Nivar” is appearing in the form of heavy rain in the parts of the city. Valluvar Kottam, Velachery, Triplicane, Madipakkam, Royapetta, and adjacent sides of Mount Road— all prime localities in the Tamil Naidu Capital— have reported water-logging.
Hence, the authorities announced on Wednesday evening that Chennai International Airport will be closed from 7 pm today to 7 am Thursday.
Earlier in the day, the gates of Chembarambakkam Lake in Chennai were opened to release excess water. This is the first time since 2015 that the gates of Chembarambakkam Lake were opened.
In addition to this, the Personnel of the NDRF (National Disaster Rescue Force) main focus on aquatic hazards and rescuing people from collapsed buildings in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu ahead of the landfall of cyclone Nivar, which threatens to wreak havoc in the northern region of Tamil Nadu.
Nivar cyclone will cause flooding, uprooted trees, and damage semi-permanent weak buildings. Therefore, we are now focusing on aquatic disaster and collapsed structural rescue work in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, Rekha Nambiar, NDRF 4th Battalion Commandant, told the reporters.
She added that 19 NDRF personnel from the 4th Battalion based in Arakkonam have been sent to Puducherry and Tamil Nadu for rescue work.
Heavy rainstorms with gusty winds as the cyclone landfalls will uproot trees that damage habitats and infrastructures, such as roads and power grids.
Semi-permanent concrete structures may also be damaged by relentless rainfalls and wind gusts. Therefore, NDRF personnel are also dedicated to rescuing those who get trapped in the collapsed structure.
Of the 19 teams, 4 have been sent to Puducherry and 15 to Tamil Nadu.
According to Rekha Nambiyar, the breakup of the team is in such sequence: Chengalpattu-2, Chennai-2, Villupuram-2, Cuddalore-5, Puducherry-3, Karaikkal-1, Tannjavur-1, Nagapattinam-3.
The rescue force has been equipped with special equipment and appliances, including life jackets, inflatable boats, and power saws, to remove fallen trees.