Cyclone ‘Nivar’ expected to weaken in next six hours

Cyclone Nivar will cross Tamil Nadu-Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram by midnight or early hours of November 26 (Photo/IMD)

The severe Cyclonic Storm ‘Nivar’ is likely to continue to move northwestwards and weaken further into a cyclonic storm in the next six hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Goa informed on Tuesday.

The storm crossed the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry from 11:30 pm on Wednesday night to 2:30 on Thursday and moved west-northwestwards at a speed of 9 kmph in the last six hours.

“The very severe cyclonic storm Nivar over Southwest Bay of Bengal moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 9 kmph during past six hours and crossed Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts near Puducherry from 11:30 pm on Wednesday night to 2:30 am today as a very severe cyclonic storm with estimated wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph,” the IMD said.

“It weakened into a Severe Cyclonic Storm with a wind speed of 100 to 110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph and lay centred at 2:30 am on November 26 over coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, near Puducherry. The Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘NIVAR’ would continue to move northwestwards and weaken further into a cyclonic storm during the next six hours,” it added.

Meanwhile, the cyclone continued to wreak havoc in several parts of Tamil Nadu with Chennai witnessing waterlogging and fallen trees in may parts.

According to officials, over one lakh people have been evacuated across Tamil Nadu and more than 1,000 people shifted to safer places in Puducherry.

The Indian Navy on Wednesday put ships, aircraft, helicopters, diving, and disaster relief teams on standby. An Indian Coast Guard vessel has also been deployed off Chennai’s coast with disaster relief items.

The Indian Army has also deployed eight rescue teams by “Dakhshin Bharat Area”, following requisition by Puducherry civil authorities to undertake rescue operations.

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NDRF have so far been deployed in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh and 20 additional teams have been kept on standby,” an official release of Ministry of Earth Science read.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea, while people in coastal areas are also being evacuated to shelter houses.

Meanwhile, IndiGo flights to or from the southern region, mainly Chennai, have been disrupted.

“A total of 49 flights that were scheduled for Wednesday have been cancelled. We will monitor the situation and decide on the further course of action for November 26. We are accommodating passengers on next available flights at no additional charges, waiving off cancellation fee and refunding full ticket amount,” Indigo said in a statement.

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