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TN, Puducherry brace for ‘Very Severe’ Nivar cyclone; flights, trains cancelled

Prime News, National, Chennai/Puducherry, November 25:-Several flights were cancelled and a public holiday declared to prepare for Cyclone Nivar, which is expected to intensify into a “very severe cyclonic storm” and cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram late in the evening of November 25, India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said.

Tamil Nadu has declared a public holiday on Wednesday while Puducherry has imposed Section 144 for three days. Nearly 1,200 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rescue personnel have been deployed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry and 800 others are on standby. NDRF chief SN Pradhan said they are prepared for a “high level of intensity and the worst form” of the cyclonic storm as it surges from the Bay of Bengal towards the southern coastline.

The weather department had initially predicted that Cyclone Nivar was likely to intensify into a “severe cyclonic storm” but has now estimated that it will intensify further. Nivar is the second cyclone in the Bay of Bengal this year. In May, Cyclone Amphan had developed into a ‘super cyclonic storm’.

“Our forecast is it will intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm by (Tuesday) tonight. It is very likely to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry during 25th November late evening as a very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130 km per hour gusting to 145 kmph,” Mohapatra said.

Besides strong winds, the cyclone is also expected to bring heavy rains. The IMD has issued red alert for coastal and north interior Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal for November 25, said Mohapatra. “Isolated extremely heavy rainfall activity also very likely over coastal and north interior Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Karaikal, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Ariyalur and Perabalu districts during 24th and Kadalur, Kallakurchi, Puducherry, Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Chengalpattu to Ariyalur, Perambalur and Karaikal districts during 25th) and over Nellore and Chittoor districts of Andhra Pradesh on 25th and over Rayalseema and southeast Telangana on 26th November,” the IMD said.

Mohapatra said there could be serious damage to thatched huts, disruption of power and communication lines, damage to roads, uprooting of trees, and damage to horticulture crops like banana and papaya. The IMD has suggested total suspension of fishing operations and motorboats and small boats, shifting of people residing in coastal areas to safer places, judicious regulation of road, air and rail traffic. He said the IMD will issue hourly updates from November 25 when the cyclone crosses the coast.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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