Due to Cyclone Nivar, South-Western Railway has cancelled two trains scheduled for 26 November. Chennai airport has announced that twenty-six Chennai flights have been cancelled due to the cyclone which has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and is likely to intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during the subsequent few hours.
Moving at a speed of about 7kmph over the past six hours, the severe cyclonic storm Nivar lay centred about 290km east-southeast of Cuddalore, about 300km east-southeast of Puducherry and 350km south-southeast of Chennai, the weather department said.
As Cyclone Nivar approaches, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on 25 November visited Chembarambakkam lake to review the ground situation. “In relief camps, we need to ensure COVID-19 protocols are followed and masks, sanitisers are available. There’s an inventory of 27 items per person, which we keep ready, this also includes dignity kit for women,” Tamil Nadu Additional Chief Secretary Atulya Misrat said.
About more than 30,000 people have been evacuated from Tamil Nadu and 7,000 from Puducherry, said an NDRF official. He further said that Central, state and local governments are working in tandem and efforts are being made to minimise damage.
SN Pradhan, DG, National Disaster Response Force said that 25 NDRF teams have been deployed in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh. “Cyclone Nivar is categorised as ‘very severe’. With this perspective, we’re preparing for the worst. Our teams have been on the ground for the last two days. Till now 25 teams deployed in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
Cyclone Nivar, which has intensified into a “severe cyclonic storm”, is expected to intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during the next few hours, said the Ministry of Earth Science. The cyclone is likely to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry during midnight of 25 and early hours of 26 November as a “very severe cyclonic storm” with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph.